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f I X T R O 1) U C T I O N A N D N O T E S 

I • 


"* BY 

Ihu;ii MacMaster Kingery, Ph.D. 
2 IMiOFESsoK I.N Wabash Coi.lkgb 

t'ltAVVFOltb^VlLLE, IND. 
. I89t> 



6rowkr Bros., Printers 


Tiiis little biKik i-eiifbseuts a venture ini 
In this <»iintiy we have given miieti study, f 


On page 13, Une9. forpetireadpete. 
IT. 16, aiter it insert can. 
29, verse 206, lor admovet read adniovit. 
40, 691, (or et read eat. 

E8. line II from bottom, for as taunt lead a i 
GS, line 14, tol crcplt read cTepuiL 
66, 7 from bottom, lot 339 tead 319. 

anit sevenEeenin cenciiries i,ine moni riiiiiiuiB, 
lection (if "The Tenne Tr»|{e<Iies" in heroit 
(Iriiie vei'se, jtiihliBheil in London in 1581), 
itself, with suitable heljiK, has never been rer 
ble t«> out students. 

The jiresent work is tlie outgrowtli of thi 
ex[ierieiice in using the trundles in the class 
|ilenient study in the Comedy. From every p 
I.atinity. content, drantatie structure and 
o(*u])y in the Roman literature -these pli 
found abundantly worthy of study: while the 
of them can l>e compared directly with their I 
aililH iniiterialU to their interest and value. 




This little book represents a venture into new lieUls. 
In this country we have given much study, and rightly, to 
the Latin ('omedy, but have neglected almost entirely its 
counterpart, the Tragedy. While classical scholars on the 
continent of Europe, and especially in Germany, have consid- 
ered the Senecan plays worthy of careful recension, hardly 
anything has been done in Great Britain or America, and I 
have not been able to discover anv edition of anv of the 
tragedies with English notes. Numerous experiments in 
translation into English verse were made in the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries (the most rotable, perhaps, a col- 
lection of "The Tenne Tragedies" in heroic and Alexan- 
drine verse, published in London in 1581), but the text 
itself, with suitable heli)s, has never been rendered accessi- 
ble to out students. 

The present work is the outgrowth of the editor's own 
ex[)erience in using the tragedies in the class-room to sup* 
plement study in the ( -omedy. From every point of view 
Latinity, content, dramatic structure and the i»lace they 
occuj)y in the Roman literature these plays have been 
found abundantlv w^orthv of studv; while the fact that most 
of them can be compared directly with their Greek (»riginals 
adds materiallv to their interest and value. 

iv Preface 

The Medea has been chosen for presentation because of 
its comparative excellence and because its authenticity is 
almost unquestioned. In the preparation of the notes it 
has been assumed that the reader is familiar with the essen- 
tials of the language, and only such points of form and 
syntax are noticed as present unusual difficulty. No gram- 
matical references are given. In dealing with tlie subject- 
matter the aim has been rather to suggest than to state, 
thus leaving much for the student's own research to develop. 
Above all has it been desired, by the insertion of necessary 
references to authorities and cross-references to the text, to 
guide him to a mastery of the play itself. For the mythol- 
ogy free use is made of Latin (and occasionally of (ireek) 
sources of information. The reader should have at hand 
especially a good edition of Ovid's Metamorphoses. 

The text is that of Leo (Berlin, 1879), the few variations 
therefrom receiving mention in the notes. The various 
readings of the manuscripts and the conjectures and emen- 
dations of editors have been omitted from this preliminary 
edition. Division into acts and scenes has not been intro- 
duced into the body of the text, but is indicated at the t(>]> 
of the page. 

Wabash College, October 1, 189r). 



Roman Tragedy from Jiivirs to Accii s - l 

Decline OF THE Tragedy AT Home - . . j 

The Ten Tragedies of Senega - > . :» 
The Medea 


Metres OF THE Medea - - . . S 


Senega's Life 15 

The Worksof Sene<a ' - - ' - IJS 




> ' 



A^d.: Adelphl (Tui-ence). 

Aen.: Aeneid (Vergil). 

Agam.: Agamemnon (Seneca). 

Ann.: Annales (Tacitus). 

A. P.: Ars Poetica (Horace). 

Arg.: Argonautica (Apollonius 

art., artt.: article, articles. 

Aul.: Aulularia (Plautus). 

Brev. Vitae: de Brevitate Vitae 

0., Carm.: Oarmiua (Horace. 
Tibullus, etc.). 

cf.: confer, compare. 

01. Diet.: Classical Dictionary. 

C. S.: Carmen Saeculare (Hor- 

Eel.: Eclogae (Vergil). 

Epig.: Epigrams (Seneca, Mar- 

Epist. : Epistles (Cicero, Horace, 
Pliny, Seneca). 

Bpod.: Epodes (Horace). 

Eur. : Euripides. 

Fab.: Fabulae (Hyginus). 

(Jeorg.: Georgics (Vergil). 

Ger.: Germania (Tacitus). 

Here. Fur.: Hercules Furens 

Here. Oct.: Hercules Oetaeus 

n.: Hiad (Homer j. 

Inst. Oral.. I. O.: Iiisthutlo 
Oratorla (Quiiitilinn >. 

lit.: literally. 

Med.: Medea (Seneca, Eurip- 

Met.: Metamorphoses (Ovid). 

Mil. Glor.: Miles Gloriosus 

N. D.: deNatura Deorurn K'i- 

N. H.: NaturalisHistorlM ( Pli- 

Oct.: Octavia (Seneca). 

Od.: Odyssey (Homer). 

Oed.: Oedipus (Seneca). 

Phaed.: Phaedra (Seneca). 

Prov.: de Providentla i Sen- 

Rem. Amoris: Remedium Atno- 
ris (Ovid). 

R. N.: de Rerum Natura (Lu- 

S., Sat.: Saturae < Horace, Ju- 

sc: scilicet, understand, sup- 
Sen.: Seneca. 

Theb.: The)»als (Statius). 

Thy.: Thyestes (Seneca). 

Tr., Trist.: Tristia (Ovidi. 

Tranq. An.: de Tranquillitat** 
Animi (Soneca). 



From Livius to Accirs 

For live ceuturies Rome had no literature. Then, about 
240 B. C, Livius Andronicus, who had been a slave and 
now was a schoolmaster, being in want of a good Latin text- 
book, translated the Odyssey of Homer into rude Saturnian 
verse. Finding this first essay successful he widened the 
scope of his adventure, and brought over some comedies 
and later some tragedies from the Greek. His success as 
tested by the popularity of his work was unquestioned, and, 
though little can be said for the originality or literary merit 
of his productions, it is from this beginning that the history 
of Roman literature dates. 

The example thus set was not long in being followed. A 
host of translators and adapters sprang up, treading for the 
most part the comparatively narrow path marked out by 
the pioneer. Practice, under the spur of emulation, pro- 
duced a gradual improvement in form and finish, and soon 
one and another ventured to introduce new .features. In- 
stead of translation, bald or free, came the interpolation of 
incidents and dialogue not in the original, the welding 
together of two plots (coniaminutio), the introduction of 
bits of local coloring which served to render the scenes more 
intelligible to the un traveled Roman. Especially was this 
true of the Comedy, as is seen in the plays, still extant, of 
Plautus and Terence. 


We have to do, however, mainly with tragedy. In this 
branch of the drama the earliest names we meet after Liv- 
ius are those of Xaevius, Ennius and Pacuvius, all of whom 
were living within a quarter-century after the enterprising 
schoolman had made his debut as an author. All borrowed 
freely from the Greek, as he had done. Presently, however, 
the Roman's national pride suggeste'i an attempt at a 
national drama, whose result is seen in the fabulce prce- 
textit of Naevius and his successors. In these, while the form 
of the Greek play was retained, both plot and characters 
were purely Roman. Such titles are met as the Romulus 
of NaBvius, the Paulln.s of Pacuvius, the Brutus &nd Aenen- 
(hv of Accius, etc. 

I Unfortunately we have of these earliest products of the 
l^m^an tragic muse nothing more than a list of titles and a 
few of the merest fragments— too little data for the forma- 
tion of any independent judgment of their merits. For this 
we must rely on the authority of ancient critics who had 
access to the plays in their enti3*6ty. Cicero constantly pro- 
fessed a great admiration for Ennius, though rather as an 
epic than as a tragic poet. Varro is quoted as having 
declared Pacuvius a model of richness in diction. To Pacu- 
vius and Accius Quintilian ascribes the first place among an- 
(nent tragic writers in vigor of thought and expression and 
in the dignity of the characters they created. The popularity 
enjoyed in the Augustan age by these old authors provoked 
the sarcastic protest of Horace (see especially jEJpi^f. 2, 1,18 
75). Roman critics generally admitted'the courage and vigor 
of these pioneers in literature, while at the same time they 
deplored the rudeness of their style; but this, Quintilian 
observes, was due less to themselves than to their age. 

De(?line of the Tra(»ei)y at Rome 

The interest in tragedy was soon overshadowed by the 
growing popularity of the comedy. For some reason the 
lighter form of drama appealed more powerfully to the Ho- 



man taste, and while the comedies of Plautus and Ter- 
ence were still popular in the time of Augustus, th^ 
custom of presenting tragedies on the stage very soon died 
out. A natural conseq[uence was the diversion of literary 
effort into other channels, and in the half-century following 
the death of Accius there was but one tragic writer of any 
note — L. Julius Csesar Strabo. After Accius, indeed, it is 
probable that works of this sort were composed rather as 
literary experiments, and for private reading or at most for 
declamation, than for exhibition on the stage. Many of the 
later poets tried their hands at this species of composition -- 
among them Q. Cicero, Yarro, Yarius; Asinius PoUio, Ovid, 
Pomponius Secundus and Seneca — some with considerable 
success, if we accept the judgment of Quintilian (/. O. 10, 
1, 98). In all we find mention made of thirty-six lioman 
poets who wrought or dabbled in this field, and the number 
of their works mounts up to about one hundred and fifty. 

The Ten Tragedies of Seneca 

Of all this mass of tragic literature we have to-day, aside 
from inconsiderable fragments, only the ten plays (one of 
them incomplete) which bear the name of Seneca. Xine of 
the ten are adaptations from the Oreek, while one is a priv^ 
texta. Fortunately most of the (jlreek originals are extant, 
BO that comparison with them is possible — an advantage we 
do not enjoy in studying the Latin comedy. Thus w^e find 
that the Agamemnon was borrowed from Aeschylus, the 
Oedipus from Sophocles, and no less than five of the others 
— the Medea, the Hippolytvs or FlKjedra^ the Heixttlcs Fv- 
reus, the Troades or Hecuba and the Fhmnma- from 
Euripides. It is wo rthy o f note that from the first, it was 
not the solfijmu stately and mysterious idealism ^f Aeschy- 
lus and Sophocles but the human realism^of Euripides that 
fiiost atlrE^te d the T^mnans.^ From the time of Ennius 
down it was Euripides who was copied oftenest, and Seneca 
in this is but following fixed precedent. 


The nine plays now under consideration vary in length 
from the 1012 verses of the Atfamemnon to the 1996 of the 
Hercules Oetaits; and in ([iiality from the Oedipus, which 
j)resents many crudities, to the Medea and the HeroMles 
Fnreiis., which last has been declared by some critics to 
surpass the work of Eurij)ides. In most cases the charac- 
ters bear the same names as in the (rreek originals, and in 
essential features are the same; though they often differ in 
points of detail and in some cases are inferior in distinct- 
ness of conception and consistency of development. In 
plot the Uv)m m author has not ventured to vary far from 
his models, though here and there he has altered the arrange- 
ment as well as the allotment of space to the several scenes. 
As a rule the Latin plays are considerably shorter than 
their (rreek i)rototypes. New characters are never intro- 
duced, but quite frequently one or another is omitted. 

The chorus is retained as in the (xreek, although, since 
the orchestral pit was occujued in the Koman theater by 
seats for the senators, there was no space provided for the 
choral dance. In early times the chorus may have had a 
place on the stage, and its retention in tragic composition 
after public representation ceased was due probably to the 
fact that its presence in such pieces was traditional and to 
the opj)ortunity thus afforded for experiment in lyric pas- 
sages. Horace's precept, Actor is partes choi'us. .drfen- 
dat, can hardly be said to have been observed in these 
plays. There is little of that direct participation in the 
development of the plot which is assigned the chorus by the 
(Greeks and especially by Aeschylus. Its part here is more 
formal and artificial rather a set passage on some lyric 
theme suggested more o*r less remotely by the context than 
an integral i)art of the whole. In this as in the handling of 
characters our author carries to an extreme an innovation 
of Eur j)ides. 

AVhat has been said of the choruses is illustrated well in 
the Medtd. The lirst, following the heroine's first savage 

Introduction 5 


outburst of rage at being supplanted, is the hymentjefUis or 
wedding-song of Jason and Creusa; the second, afte 
Medea's interview with Creon, deals with the rather irrele 
vant theme of the conquest of the sea; the third, which fol- 
lows the meeting of Medea with her recreant husband and 
her declaration that she will have vengeahce, opens appro- 
priately by picturing the terrors of a woman's fury, then 
reviews the fate of the several Argonauts and prays that 
Jason may be spared; while the fourth and last formal cho- 
rus, more in the original manner, describes the frenzy of 
Medea and prays for the speedy coming of night, when her 
power to harm will be gone. 

The Octavia is constructed on the same general plan as 
the other nine tragedies, having its dialogue and its cho- 
ruses, but differing, of course, in plot and scene, and pre- 
senting also some peculiarities of versification. 

While the Senecan tragedies are not arranged in trilogies, 
there are some pairs — bilogies, if we may coin the word- 
in which both plays contain the same principal characters 
and treat of their fortunes progressively. These are (1) the 
Oedipus and the Phcenissce or Thebais, in which the down- 
fall and exile of the hapless Theban king are portrayed; (2) 
the Thyestes and the Agamemnon^ whose theme is the housi^ 
of Pelops aud its dark destiny; and (3) the two plays in 
which the hero Hercules overshadows all other characters 
— the Hercules Fxirens and the Heicule^ Oetaus. Tlie re 
maining plays are unconnected — the Hippolytvs or Phcu- 
dra, whose double title suggests its plot; the Troades or 
Hecuba, dealing with the fortunes of the royal house after 
the fall of Troy; and the Medea, 

The M£D£A 

This play, whose authenticity is most nearly assured, is 
admitted to be one of the best of the group. Title, plot 
and characters are borrowed from Euripides. In both au- 
thors the scene is Corinth and the time that ot the heroine's 

♦> Introduction 

repudiation and revenge— the last day of her stay on the 
Isthmus. In both are scenes in which she protests to King 
Creon against the injustice of her banishment and gains 
from him the respite of a single day; in which she seeks a 
final interview with Jason, upbraids him with his faithless- 
ness and listens with scorn to his excuses; and in which, 
having slain her two sons, she is borne away through the air 
in a chariot drawn by dragons. In both she endeavors at 
first to recall her recreant husband to his duty, and, failing 
in that, dissembles her wrath but begins at once to plan her 

Along with these points of resemblance are many minor 
differences. Of the dramatis persowje Seneca omits entirely 
the pcedagogos and Aegeus, king of Athens, and makes the 
two boys, who in the Greek play cry out behind the scenes 
when attacked by their mother, purely mute characters. 
The messenger who reports the catastrophe at the palace 
also has a less important part, speaKing but ten lines in 
Seneca as against 103 in Euripides. Medea's long address 
to the chorus, setting forth her woes and her vengeful de- 
sign, and the promise of silence on the part of the chorus 
(Euii. 216-272), are omitted from the Latin play. So, of 
course, is the interview with Aegeus (Eur. 661-761). Other 
omissions of less extent occur, and in their stead is inserted 
the scene (Sen. 670-848) in which Medea's incantations are 
recorded at length. The introduction of the hymenctuH as 
one of the choruses is an innovation of the Latin author. 
In matters of detail we find still further variations. Thus 
in Euripides Medea is commanded {r. 275) to take her 
children with her into exile, and with pretended earnestness 
entreats her husband to obtain a revocation of the edict {^r. 
985-989); while* in Seneca it is she who desires them to g<> 
with her, and her husband who insists that they remain. 
In the Greek she is determined to destroy her husband as 
well as her rival {^t. 864-876), but does not form the design 
until later (r. 7S7 ft'.> of striking at him through their sons; 


Introduction 7 

yet in the very first sceae the nuraa is represented as fear- 
ful of danger to the children from the mother's frenzy. 
Neither of these appears in the Latin. In the older 
play Jason is told of the intended gift to his bride, while 
in the newer he knows nothing of it until it has done its 
deadly work. In both versions the heroine is by far the 
strongest character, but she overshadows the rest more 
completely in the Latin. Jason in the one play (Eur. 593- 
597) affirms that his purpose in wedding the Corinthian 
princess is to gain means of protection and support for 
Medea and her children; in the other (Sen. 434-436, 518- 
530) he frankly confesses that fear is his motive. In the 
(me case he is a smooth-tongued egoist, in the other a self- 
confessed coward. In both (Eur. 476-487; Sen. 449-489) 
she reminds him of all she has done and sacrificed in his 
behalf, and paints his ingratitude in vivid colors. The pas- 
sages are very similar in substance, though the Greek is a 
straightforward narrative and the I.Atin more declamatory. 
Jason's reply is reported differently. According to Eurip- 
ides he proceeds to prove by argument (vv. 534-541) that 
her service to him had not been so great after all, and that 
in fact she had gained more than she had lost in following 
him, while in the Latin {on. 490, 491) he tries to evade her 
claims by setting up the pitiful counter-plea that by his 
tears he had persuaded Oreon to grant her exile instead of 
death. Her reply is scathing in its irony: Pcenam puta- 
ham: munus ut video estfuga (v. 492). Euripides make.s 
them meet a second time, Seneca but once. 

The existence of such differences has prompted the sug- 
gestion that perhaps Seneca did not imitate Euripides 
directly, but rather some later (perhaps Alexandrian) ver- 
sion of the play. Of course the myth of Medea was com- 
mon property. Before Euripides there had been the Medea 
of Neophron, and as many as five other Greek tragedies of 
the same name are catalogued. Among the Romans too it 
was a favorite theme. Ennius had used it; so probably had 

8 Introduction 

Maecenas; Ovid's Medea had won high praise from Quin- 
tilian and from Tacitus {Dial, 12). It is probable, therefore, 
that our author had access to several Latin versions of the 
Medea, as well as to more than one in Greek. Nor is it un- 
likely that his conception and treatment of it were affected 
by Ovid's facile brilliancy. There is a striking parallel 
between the two authors in methods and results. Each 
wrote much and easily, and each appeared to care mainly 
for effectiveness of form and to be willing, if need be, to at- 
tain this at the sacrifice of substance. While we have not 
Ovid's tragedy, we have his epistle of Medea to Jason {He- 
roides 12), from which we may infer something of his con- 
ception of the heroine. Kow there are unmistakable points 
of resemblance between the Medea of this epistle and the 
Medea of Seneca's tragedy, and moreover there are many 
expressions essentially and some literally the same. It 
would be hard to avoid the conclusion, therefore, that the 
Keronian author was influenced to a considerable degree by 
the Augustan, and that some of the variations from Eurip- 
ides may be accounted for in this way. 

In modern times the tragedy of Medea has appeared in 
Italian and French, and even in German and English. 

The Metres of the Medea 

Seneca forms the iambic senarius with great regularity. 
In the Medea the rules are followed with especial strictness. 
For the characteristic iambus ( — - ), the equivalent tri- 
brach (www) may be substituted, except in the first and 
last feet. In the last not infrequently a pyrrhic ( ww ) oc- 
curs, the final syllable being common. The substitution "^^ 

a spondee ( ) or either of its equivalents, the dactyl 

( — WW ) or the anapest ( ww— ), is common in the odd- 
numbered feet (first, third and fifth), but does not occur in 
the sixth as it might do in accordance with the license 
allowed (cf. Horace, A, P. 255 257). The scheme of the 



senarius, with the variations allowed in the Medea^ is as 
follows : 




4 5 


N^ V^ -^^ 





_~ - 



The fifth foot is almost invariably a spondee or an ana- 

In the several choruses and cantica are met a great vari- 
ety of metres. The first chorus {cv. 56- 115), though but sixty 
I hies in length, changes measure three times. First is a pas- 
sage of nineteen lines in the minor asclepiadean (as in Hor- 
ace, C 1, 1, etc.), then eighteen gly conies, then seventeen 
more asclepiadean verses, and finally six dactylic hexam- 
eters. There is nothing particularly noticeable in these 
measures (except the use of so many glyconics together), 
as thev do not differ in structure from the same as written 
by Horace. 

It is in the second chorus (vv. 301-379) that we meet 
Seneca's favorite choral measure, the anapestic dimeter. 
( 'ertain peculiarities mark its use here. The standard foot 
may give way to a spondee and this (except in the fourth 
foot) to a dactyl. The single lines are not regarded as inde- 
pendent, but as parts of a continuous whole. Thus the final 
syllable may not be long or short at will as in the iambics, but 
must be always long (not so, however, in the Octavia); and, 
contrary to the usual rule in Latin poetry, a final consonant 
in one line "makes position" with an initial consonant in 
the next. Hiatus between successive verses, which the 
(Greeks never allowed in this measure, is admitted by Sen- 

10 Introductiox 

eca. In this play there are five instances (following Vfh 
342, 348, 827, 828, 882). One of these is a half-verse, and 
in two instances the hiatus is at the end of a period. 

The longest chorus proper is at the end of the third act 
{t)D. 579-669), and is a form of the sapphic strophe. A 
br«ak occurs at v.. 660, where the measure can be restored 
by supplying one hemistich, though the sense may require 
an additional stanza. Taking the chorus as it stands in 
J.eo's text (supplying, of course, the half -line in v. 660), we 
count fourteen stanzas or strophes, seven of four lines each, 
as in Horace, and seven of nine lines each, the last of each 
strophe being an adonic. 

The brief chorus which closes the fourth act (t*^. 849-878) 
is composed of twenty-seven anacreontics (iambic dimeter 
catalectic) and three verses one syllable less (iambic dimeter 
brachycatalectic), which ha^ been called sometimes eupo- 
lidean. It is rigid in its construction, the only variation 
from the iambus being the use of a spondee and in three 
cases an anapest in the first foot. The final syllable with a 
single exception {v. 852) is long, either by nature or by posi- 
tion (often on account of an initial consonant in the follow- 
ing line). 

The frenzied speech of Medea in vv. 740-848, while not 
nominally a chorus, presents all the characteristics of one, 
metrically and sentimentally. Yerses 740-751 are in the 
trochaic tetrameter catalectic. Then follow nineteen lines 
(752-770) in the iambic trimeter, then sixteen in which 
the iambic trimeter and the iambic dimeter alternate (771- 
786), and finally fifty-six lines in the anapestic dimeter, but 
with three monometers (811, 816, 832) interspersed (see 
note on v. 740). The last six verses of the speech do not 
belong properly to the eantl<^im, but are a reversion to the 
ordinary dramatic form. 

Altogether the Medea contains 344 verses in other mea- 
sures than the iambic senarius out of a total of 1028 verses 

« I. 

» *■ t, 

» » • 

■ » 



— almost exactly one third — certainly not an undue propor- 
tion when we consider the intensity of the passions in play 
and their teadency toward expression in m;>re irregular 

Authorship of the Senecax Tragedies 

While all the manuscripts ascribe these plays to **Seneca," 
the diversity of jyrceiiomina, with other circumstances, 
leaves room for the creation of a "Senecan question" which 
critics have not been slow to occupy. The several theories 
advanced are (1) that the plays are the work of the well- 
known philosopher; (2) that some are his and the remainder 
from another hand— or other hands; (3) that all are the 
result of collaboiation by Marcus and Lucius Seneca, the 
latter's brother Mela and the poet Lucan ; and (4) that all 
are the work of an entirely different i>er8on, whose real or 
assumed name was Seneca. 

In support of the last hypothesis are quoted certain lines 
written in the fifth century by Sidonius Apollinaris, who 
says of the Senecas (Carm, 9, 229-231): 

Qfiorutn unus coUt hlspidum Platonu 
inca^sKfimqns suum monet Neronem, 
orchestra m qiiatit alter EuHpidis, 

Here the distinction is made clearly between the philoso- 
])her and the tragic poet. In the absence, however, of cor- 
roborative witness it has been supposed that the writer mis- 
understood and wrongly amplified the statement of Martial 
(Bpig, 1,62,7,8): 

Diiosque Se^iecas unieumque Lticanum 
fammda loquitur Corduha, 

But it seems clear that Martial meant by this to desig- 
nate the two well-known Senecas, Marcus and Lucius, father 
and son, rhetorician and philosopher— and not the latter 
and some third Seneca who to us is otherwise unknow n. On 
the whole the assumption of a separate Seneca tragic^is 

12 lxTU()i)r( 'rUjK 

appears to rest on a very slender support of evidence. 

The second hypothesis, that some of the plays are Sen- 
eca's and some not, has been upheld vigorously and ably. 
It may be said now to be pretty generally admitted that 
seven of the nine are genuine, while some critics question 
the authenticity of the Aguniemnon and the Hercules Oetwits 
on the score of internal evidence. Regarding eVen these^ 
however, the preponderance of opinion is in favor of Sen- 
eca's authorship. 

The idea that the tragedies are the joint j)rodilction of the 
three Senecas and their nephew Lucan is merely an ihgt*- 
nious conjecture of a modern Ffench critic, and has not 
found any wide acceptance. 

There remains the theory that the nine playS borrowed 
from the Greek are the work of Seneca the i)hilosopher. 
External evidence is scant and fragmentary. We have the 
tradition that assigns them to him, and the appearance of 
his name in the manuscripts— in one, however, with the 
double pro'/iomeM M. L. Tacitus {Anuria, 52) speaks of 
his devotion to the writing of poetfy — edrmiiia crebrius' 
/aotitare--SLftev the death of hisi comrade Burrhus, and the 
younger Pliny {Epist. 5, 3, 5) calls him a j>oet, in defend- 
ing his own verse- writing/ Quintilian (/. 0. 10, 1, 129) 
says: " (Seneca) has wrought in almost every field of 
learning; for we have orations of his, and poems, letters* 
ftnd dialogues." It is questioned if the great critic would 
have used the word poemata to designate the few brief 
epigrams w'hich, with the Apocolocyntosis^ constitute the 
only other verse of Seneca of which we kilaw. But a 
much stronger bit of evidence is the quotation by this same 
Quintilian (/. 0/ 9, 2, 8) of a sentence ffom the Medea as we 
now have it— Qiuis peti terras iube.s''l {v. 453) — which he in- 
troduces with the phrase, *'As Medea says in Seneca." This 
is taken almost universally as* fettling the authorship of the 
Medea. Four other plays, moreover {Phivdra, Troades, Thy- 
e>ft€S and Oedipus), are quoted by well-known writers who- 

Introduction 13 

lived within five centuries of the philosopher's death, and 
ascribed in each case to Seneca. 

Of the internal evidence on this point we can notice here 
only the general character. Alhision to contemporary 
events is almost precluded, of course, by the nature of the 
themes, yet it does seem probable that Agrippina's exclam- 
ation to the assassins sent by her son — Ventrem feri (see 
Tacitus, Ann. 14, 8) — suggested the very similar expression 
placed in the mouth of Jocasta — Hnnc peti utertun (Oed. 
1038). The thought is amplified in the Octama (vv. 36S- 
372) where Agrippina's death is described. The incident at 
Bauli must have made a deep impression on Seneca's mind,, 
and would be likely to recur to him when describing Jocas- 
ta's grief and despair. 

This, however, is exceptional. The evidence has to do 
miinly with (1) th3 phllosDphy and general tone of thought 
and sentiment pervading all the works of Seneca, and (2) 
the style of expression. In philosophy Seneca was essen- 
tially a Stoic. He did not believe, like the Epicurean 
Lucretius, that the universe is an accident and the gods 
are merely lookers on; on the contrary he teaches directly 
the doctrines of providence and fate. In essays and letters 
he sets forth the Stoic ideas of virtue and wisdom and the 
nearness of the wise man to godhood. His rle Tranqtiilli- 
tdte Animi dwells upon the thought that death is a welcome 
release from trouble and is ever within our reach. All these 
ideas are met also in the tragedies. A most close and strik- 
ing parallel exists between one passage in the essay de 
Frovidentia (5, 5) and a chorus in the Oedipus {w. 980-994), 
where the inevitableness of fate and man's helplessness 
before it are expressed in as nearly the same phraseology as 
the differences of prose and verse will admit. The phrase 
Lex est, 7ion plena, perire {Epig. 7, 7) has its counterpart 
in thought and form in the Non est pcena sic tiato mori 
of the Agamemnon {v. 233). Two other expressiors of a 
kindred idea are, Male vivet quisqnis nesciet heiie mori 


{Trauq, An. 11, 3), and O qvam mist rum nesvire inoi'l 
{Ayam. 611). Another thought on which the philosopher 
dwells in his prose works is the fickleness of fortune, the 
instability of high station (cf. 7in r. r«7a^l7>4; ad Folyl * 
deCoiis. 9, 4; etc.), and this too is a favorite theme of the 
choruses in the tragedies (e. g., Agftm. 57-107; Oerl. 88C- 
910; Phird. 1123-1143: cf. Oct. 337 890, where Seneca him- 
self is made to regret the safe leisure and obscurity of his 

Such examples may be multiplied irfdelinitely indeed the 
comparison has been carried very far by Xisard with strik- 
ing results; and the further the study is pursued the greater 
will be the difficulty in accounting for such parallelism in 
thought and even phrase except on the supposition that 
both sets of works are the product of one mind or of 
unconscionable plagiarism. 

The qualities of style are too subtle and elusive to be 
illustrated satisfactorily in a brief introduction. Only gen- 
eralizations can be given. Seneca had a most impressive 
manner in uttering trifles. He was always trying to turn 
an epigram. In these his essays and letters abound, and the 
tone of the tragedies is the same. Often he utters mere 
platitudes, but does it as imposingly as if they were pro- 
verbs. The tone is unmistakable, and it pervades hi^ prose 
and verse alike. Read epistle 23, then de Brevitate Vi ce, 
then dc Providentia, then Jason's interview with Mecca 
{Med. 437 ff.) and Creon's with Oedipus ((>ed. 685 flf.), for a 
convincing illustration of this identity of style. 

If we consider, then, the mention of Seneca as a poet by 
Quintilian, Pliny and Tacitus, the citation of the Medea by 
Quintilian, the ascription to Seneca of other plays by critics* 
in the following centuries, the absence of proof that a sei)a-' 
rate writer of tragedies existed, and the marked resem- 
blance in sentiment and style between the plays and Sen- 
eca's acknowledged works, and to this add the fact that 

they have survived under his name and have been com- 
monly assumed to be his, we find no great difficulty in con- 
cluding that the philosopher and the tragic writer are one. 
The case of the Oetama is different. Its omission from 
the oldest man user ipt> the fact that the philosopher himfeelf i» 
one of the dramatis persofio', the remarkable forecasting of 
the fate (vv. 629-631) which befell Nero three years aftei^ 
Seneca's deaths and certain peculiarities of style and metre* 
all have been cited as going to prove a later origin; and 
While none of these arguments is conclusive in itself, theif 
cumulative force is considerable. \"arious dates have been 
assigned for its composition, as early as Domitian's reign 
and as late as Hadrian's or later, but no definite conclusion 
can be reached* Historically the Oetama agrees almost per- 
fectly with Tacitust. It is of especial interest to ue as the 
one example extant of the fabula pnrte.vta. 

Sene<:a\s Lifk 

Like so many other literary men of that age (e. g., AL 
Seneca, Lucan, Martial, Quintilian), L. Annanis Seneca was 
a native of Spain* Born at Corduba (Conlova) about the 
beginning of our era, he was brought to Home at an 

early age and received a liberal educatlonv His taste led 
him to the study of philosophy, and he seems to have 
tasted the theories of all the schools. Soticm the Alexan- 
drian (Epist 108, 17-20) inspired in him a great admira^ 
tion of Pythagoras and his doctrines; but later he received 
a deeper and more lasting impression from association with 
his instructor Attains the Stoic (frequently mentioned in 
the letters— e. g., Bjriifts 9, 7; 6S, 5; 67, 15: 72, 8; 108, 13 
15; 110, 14-20, etc.), and his own philosophy, so far as il 
can be assigned to any School, is Stoic* 

^Under his father's advice the young Seneca entered pub- 
lic life as an advocate. Soon, however, the success of hi?* 
pleadings was such as to arouse the jealousy of th** 
emperor Caligula, and he wisely retired to private life. 

1 1) rxTitoDi'cTrox 

other perils awaited him. Claudius mounted the throne 
in A. 1). 41, and almost immediately was led bv his wife 
, Messalina to order Seneea's banishment to Corsica. There 
h? solace 1 his grief and discontent by study and literary 
effort. It w^as at this time that the epigrams were written, 
as well as two treatises '*on consolation/* one addressed to 
fiis friend Polybius and the other to his mother Helvia. 
Probably, too, the Medea was written there. 

On Me^salina's fall in A. 1). 49 her successor Agrippina 
procured Seneca's recall and made him tutor to her son 
]j. Domitius, afterward the emperor Xero. The following 
live years were comparatively uneventful for Seneca, but 
were marked by the graclxiil deve opment of A grippina's am- 
bitious plans. She brought about her son's adoption by the 
emperor and his marriage with Octavia, Claudius' daughter; 
and on the emperor's death (A. I). 54) her prompt action 
secured the recognition of Xero as his successor. 

P>om this time on the life of Seneca was linked insepar- 
ably with the history of X'^ero and his reign. As secretary 
of the young monarch he composed the eulogy on Claudius 
which Xero delivered in the senate, and shortly afterward 
gave forth the Apo-olot^f/ntosis, a bitter satire on the dead 
emj)eror. He is thought al^o to have prepared most of the 
state j)apers during the early part of X'^ero's reign. 

During the first live years of his reign the young prince 
was almost wholly under the influence of his counselors 
Burrhus and Seneca, and governed with such wisdom and 
moderation that the qiiluqvetinhun Neronis was long 
remembered for its peace and happiness. Agrippina, how- 
ever, whose courage and determination had advanced her 
s<m to his high station, felt that she was entitled to a con- 
trolling voice in affairs, and soon came into conflict with 
his more politic advisers. Enraged at being thwarted in 
her plans, sh3 began to utter threats of displacing Xero 
with the true heir^ Britannicus; and this led to the first act 
in the career of crime that rendered the name of X^ero 

iNfUoDLc/f Ion 1? 

infatoous. Feeling that he could not be safe wliile JJritan- 
tiicus lived, Nero had him taken off by poison (A. I). 55); 
Then he began to treat his wife Octavia with coldness and 
cruelty. In time his mistress Acte was displaced by Pop- 
psea Sabina^ who soon aspired to be the lawful wife of tht^ 
emperor. Agrippina stood in the way of this design, and 
fehe in turn was assassinated (A; D. 59)v It was not until 
three years later that the plan was consummated by the 
divorce of Octavia and the marriage of Xero and Poppa^a 
(A. D. 62). In Juhe of that year the unhai)py Octavia was 
banished to the island Pandataria, and (Shortly after mur- 

Seneca^ meantime, had ntaintaine 1 his ]K)3ition amid 
increasing difficulties. He saw bUl dared not vigorously 
oppose the growing depravity of his ward. He stood in the 
way of Agripj)ina*s ambitious scheme^ of course, but it 
Scarcely be believed that he advocated her death; though he 
probably wrote the dispatches (Quintilian, /. (\ 8, 5, 18) in 
Vhich Nen) reported the affair to the senate, and Tacitus* 
{Ann, 14,11) says that he incurred the hatred of the people 
by his attempt to gloss over so unnatural a deed. 

In A. IX 62 Seneca*s friend and fellow-counselor Ikirrhu?^ 
died, and thenceforth his own influence Rapidly waned^ 
Very soon he begged permission to go into retirement. For 
three years more he lived, a mere spectator of events, em- 
|)loying his enforced leisure in writings as he had done in 
Corsica. At length the blow fell. He was accused of com- 
plicity in the plot of Piso (A. I). 65), and Vvithout trial was 
Commanded to die. The stx>ry of his calm fortitude cm that 
occasion is too familiar to recpiire repetition. 

Seneca has been criticised severely, both as man and as 
author. He has been accused of insincerity and ihconsist- 
<ency in his life and of empty verbosity in his writings. It 
certainly is unfortunate for his fame that he lived under 
feuch conditions. Inheriting wealth and rising early int(» 
|>rominence^ he could kmnv the sweets of poverty, of which 

18 . IXTROI)L'<TfOX 

he wrote so glibly, only by theory and observation, not by 
experience. His learning and ability cannot be questioned, 
and the range and variety of his works prove his industry as 
an author. His i)hilosophy, in spite of some inconsistencies, 
is pure and elevated, and his views of morality and the 
relation of man to his Maker are so nearly Christian as to 
have caused the belief in early times that he had known 
and been influenced by the apostle Paul, whose first impris- 
onment in Home occurred in Seneca's lifetime. It was his 
misfortune that his relations with Nero (well expressed by 
the ancient cartoon representing a butterfly driving a 
dragon) were such as to render his practice of these princi- 
l)les so difficult. We cannot acquit him of weakness in 
yielding to the force of circumstances, yet we dare not be 
too harsh in our judgment, for who of us could or would 
have done better in his place? 

In regard to word-forms and syntax the Latin of Seneca 
is essentially that of the (iolden Age. In his prose he uses 
constructions which earlier were admissible only in poetry, 
and gives this word and that a somewhat different shade of 
meaning, but in the main the mastery of Cicero, Vergil and 
Ovid gives one the key to Seneca's grammar. It was in his 
rlietoric that he created a new school. Ovid had made a 
start, but Seneca went much further. Form became the 
essential thing. An affectation of brevity, a straining after 
antithesis and epigram, came to be the characteristics of his 
work and that of his imitators (see Quintilian's judgment, 
/. O. 10, 1, 129). In spite, however, of undeniable faults of 
style, there is much that is good and more that is pleasing, 
and no study of the literature of Rome can afford to leave 
Seneca out of consideration. 

The Works of Sknfxa 

As was remarked by Quintilian (/. O. 10, 1, 129), Seneca 
was a very prolitic writer, and wrought in almost every 
department of literature. Of the prose works there are 

Introdlxtion 19 

twelve which in the Milan ms. are called dialogl, because 
of the interruption of the discourse here and there by a 
second speaker with a question or a remark (a custom fol- 
lowed also by Cicero). These are: (1) De Provldetitia, a 
short essay dedicated to Lucilius and iatended to show that 
the misfortunes of good men are not inconsistent with the 
rule of providence. (2) De Coiistantia SapientiSj addressed 
to Serenus, and arguing that a truly wise man rises superior 
to any injury or insult. (3-5) De Ira, a more extended 
work in three books, dedicated to Xovatus, discussing the 
nature and the necessity of controlling wrath. (6) De Con- 
solatione ad Marciam, the first of three short treatises of 
this nature, addressed to friends. (7) De Vita Beata, ad- 
dressed to his brother, who had been adopted into the fam- 
ily and assumed the name of Gallio (probably the same re- 
ferred to in Acts 18, 12-17). The burden of his song is that 
virtue is essential while good health and money are merely 
accessory to happiness. The conclusion is missing. (8) De 
Olio, a mere fragment of which remains, addressed to 
Serenus. (9) De TranquUlitate Animi, also addressed to 
Sere'nus, in a tone which suggests that the author is setting 
forth a theory rather than his own experience. (10) De 
Brevitate Vitw, addressed to Paulinus. Its keynote is in 
the words (1, 3): Non exiguum temporls habemus, sed 
multum perdidimus. Satis longa vita .. .si tota bene colh - 
caretur. (11) De Consolatione ad Polybinni, a portion of 
which is lost, addressed to a courtier of Claudius on the 
death of his brother. From its tone it has been thought 
that the author hoped " by flattering the emperor to effect 
his recall from banishment. {\2) Ad Ilelviam Matrem de 
Consolatione, an attempt to console his mother for the sep- 
aration caused by his exile. One of the noblest of his works. 
The other prose works still extant are: (a) Two bookts 
(le dementia, addressed to Nero and praising his mild gov- 
ernment, possibly in the hope of forestalling the cruel ten- 
dencies which had begun already to manifest themselves in 

20 Introduction 

his character. The second book is incomplete, (b) An ex- 
tended work entitled de Beneflciis, in seven books, addresserl 
to Aebutius Liberalis. It is a discussion of the obligations 
involved in bestowing or receiving gifts or kindly services, 
(c) Naturales Qucpstiones, in seven books, the product less 
of original investigation than of compilation. It is ad- 
dressed to Lucilius, and discusses various natural phenom- 
ena, astronomical, meteorological, etc. Breaks occur here 
and there in the text. This was used as a text-book in the 
middle ages, (d) Eplstuliv Morales, rather short philosoph- 
ical tracts than letters in our sense of the word. They 
number 124, and are addressed one and all to Lucilius. (e) 
There is also a collection of short letters, indorsed as au- 
thentic by St. Jerome, but usually regarded as counterfeit, 
which purport to have passed between Seneca and the apos- 
tle Paul (eight written by Seneca, six by Paul). 

Altogether the prose works of Seneca, counting only 
those which are admitted to be genuine, cover more than a 
thousand closely ])rinted pages in the Teubner text edition. 
From fragments, moreover, and citations in later writers, 
we know that he wrote extensively in the fields of science, 
philosophy and history, ia addition to the works which have 
been preserved. Mention has been made also of letters ad- 
dressed to Xovatus, and it is well known that he composed 
many speeches and papers for Nero. His literary activity, 
therefore, must have been very considerable. 

The JpocoJocyntosis, partly in prose, partly in verse, is 
the only example known to be exta«t of the datura Me- 
nippea. Its theme is the search of the lately deceased em- 
])eror Claudius for his proper place in the other world, and 
while it displays a good deal of ingenuity and talent of a 
certain order, its flippancy and irreverence make it distaste- 
ful to the modern reader. 

The purely jjoebical works ascribed to Seneca are the nine 
I'pigrams and the ten tragedies already discussed. All dis- 

Introduction ^ ,21 

play a god ability in the use of metrical forms, without, 
however, a high endowment of poetic genius. 

The approximate order of composition has been placed as 
follows: IJefore A. I). 41, the (U/usoIatio ad JIarciam; 
during the period of exile (41-49), some of the tragedies (in- 
cluding iM)ssibly the Medea), the epigrams and the two 
treatises on consolation, ad Polyhium and ad Helviam; 
within the next five years (49-54), dialogues 3, 4, 5, 9 and 
10; within the eight years following (54-62), the de Cle- 
mentia, de Beueflclis', dialogues 2 and 7, and the Apo- 
rf)locynto,s'Ls; and in the last three years of his life dialogues 
1 and 8, the Naturales Qtur.stiones and the Epistles. The 
remaining tragedies were composed at uncertain intervals. 
If the Ortacia be Seneca's, it must have been composed 
after A. I). 62, of course. \ 


The manuscripts of the Senecan tragedies are grouped in 
two general classes. The first of these includes the aodex 
Etnmm^i (called also Florentimis^ Lanrentlamui^ and Medi- 
f-efi^s), the oldest complete copy (-which, however, does not 
contain the Octacla), dating from the eleventh or the twelfth 
century; the Ambrosiamts (D 276) and the Vatkamis (lat. 
1769), both belonging to the fourteenth century and both 
c(mtaining the Octaria; and the fragments (A mbrosiana) of 
a much older copy, containing detached bits of the Oediptts 
and the Medea (of the latter m 196-274, 694-708, 722-744). 
The remains of the codex Thyaueas, of the ninth or tenth 
century, have only fragmentary portions of three plays (of 
the Medea about ten verses between 579 and 594). 

To the second class are referred a considerable number of 
of copies, more or less corrupt, derived from a common 
archetype of unknown date. This is supposed to have 
been the work of a man of some learning, who did not hes- 
itate to modify the text when it suited his convenience. 

Of all the manuscripts the Etruscan is accepted as most 











t)i coniugales tuque genialis tori, 
Lueina, custos quaeque domituram freta 
Tipliyn novam frenare docuisti ratem, 
et tu, profundi saeve dominator maris, 
clarumque Titan dividens orbi diem, '» 

tacitisque praebens eonscium sacris iubar 
Hecate triformis, quosque iuravit mihi 
deos lason, quosque Medeae raagis 
fas est preeari: noctis aeternae chaos, 
a versa superis regna manesque impios li* 

dominumque regni tristis et dominam lide 
tneliore raptam, voce non fausta precor. 
nunc, nunc adeste, sceleris ultrices deae, 


*J4 L. AxxAEi Seneca K [Art L s^:. 1 

crinerii solutis scjualidae serj>entibus, 

jitram cruentis nianibus amplexae faceni, 15 

adoste, thalamis horridae quondam meis 

(|uales stetistis: eoniugi letum novae 

letani<iue HO(?eru et regiae stirpi date. 

niihi peius ali(|uid, (jiiod precer sponsi), nianet: 

vivat. ])er iirbes erret ignotas egens 20 

exul pavens invisus incerti laris, 

iani notus hospes limen alienum expetat, 

me eortingem optet (pio(|ue non aliud quean j 

]»eius precari» liberos similes patri 

similes(iue nuitri parta iam, parta ultio est: 25 

j)eperi. (pierelas verbaque in cassum sero? 

non ibo in hostes? minibus exeutiam faces 

caelocpie lucem spectat hoc nostri, sator 

sol generis, et speetatur, et curru insidens 

j>er solita puri spatia decurrit poll? 80 

non redit in ortus et remetitur diem? 

da, da \wy auras curribus patriis vehi, 

committe habenas, genitor, et fiagrantibus 

ignifera loris tribiie moderari iuga: 

gemino Corinthos 1 i tore oppon ens moras 85 

cremata Ham mis maria eommittat duo. 

hoe restat unum, ])ronubam thalamo feram 

ut ipsa ])inum postqne sacrificas preces 

caedam dicatis victimas altaribus. 

])er viscera ipsa (juaere supplicio viam, 40 

si vivis, anime, si (juid antiqui tibi 

remanet vigi»ns; pelle femineos metus 

et inhospitalem Caucasum mente indue. 

(piodcunKpie vidit Ptmtus aut Phasis nefas, 

videbit Isthmos. effera, ignota, horrida, 45 

tremenda caelo i)ariter ac terris mala 

mens intus agitat: vulnera et caedem et vagum 

funus per artus levia memoravi nimis: 

haec Virgo feci; gravior exurgat dolor: 

Aet I, -sf*. '/] Medea 25 

maiora iam me scelera post partus decent. 50 

accingere ira teque in exitium para 

fnrore toto. paria narrentur tua 

•repudia thalauiis: quo virum linques modo? 

hoc quo secuta es. rumpe iam segnes moras:. 

<|uae scelere parta est, scelere linquenda est domus. 55 


Ad regum tbalamos numine prospers 
qui caelum superi quique regunt f re turn 
ndsint cum populis rite faventibus. 
primum sceptrif^ris colla Tonantibus 
taurus celsa ferat tergore candido; ♦><> 

Lucinam nivei femina corporis 
intemptata iugo placet, et asperi 
M.artis sanguineas quae cohibet manus, 
quae dat belligeris foedera gentibus 
et comu retinet divite copiam, ^>5 

donetur tenera mitior hostia. 
et tu, qui facibus legitimis ades, 
noctem discutiens auspice dextera 
)iuc incede gradu marcidu's ebrio, 
praecingens rosed tempora vinculo. 70 

<4 tu quae, gemini praevia temporis, * 
tarde, stella, redis semper amantibus: 
te matres, avide te cupiunt nurus 
quam primum radios spargere lucidos, 

A^incit virgineus decor 75 

longe Cecropias nurus, 

et quas Taygeti iugis 

exercet iuvenum modo 

muris quod caret oppidum, 

et quas A on ins latex SO 

Alpbeosque sacer lavat. 

si forma velit aspici, 

-♦*» L. AnXAEI SeXKCAE lArt /. Sf. 2 

cedent Aesonio duci 

proles fulminis improbi 

aptat qui iuga tigribus, ><:^ 

uec non, qui tripodas movet, 

f rater virgin is asperae, 

cedet Castore cum suo 

Pollux caestibus aptior. 

sic, sic, caelicolae, precor, IHi 

vincat femina coniuges, 

vir longe super et viros. 

Haec cum femineo constitit in choro, 

unius facies praenitet omnibus. 

sic cum sole perit.sidereus decor, *»r> 

et densi latitant Pleiadum greges 

cum Phoebe solidum lumine non su<» 

orbem circuitis cornibus alligat. 

ostro sic niveus puniceo color 

perfusus rubuit, sic nitidum iubar ]<N) 

])astor luce nova roscidus aspicit. 

eieptus tbalamis Phasidis horridi, 

effrenae solitus pectora coniugis 

invita trepidus prendere dextera, 

felix Aeoliam corripe virginem lOo 

nunc primum soceris, spouse, volentibus. 

concesso, iuvenes, ludite iurgio, 

hiiic illinc, iuvenes, mittite carmina: 

rara est in dominos iusta licentia. 

('andida thyrsigeri proles generosa J^yael, no 

multifidam iam tempus erat succendere pinuni: 

excute soUemnem digitis marcentibus igneni. 

festa dicax fundat convicia fescenninus, 

solvat turba iocos — tacitis eat ilia tenebris. 

si qua peregrino nubit f ugitiva marito. \ \ -, 

Act n, so. 1] Medea 27 


Occidimus, aures pepulit hymenaeus meas. 
vix ipsa tan turn, vix adhuc credo malum, 
hoc facere lason potuit, erepto patre 
patria atque regno sedibus solam exteris 
deserere durus? merita contempsit mea 120 

qui sc^lere flammas viderat vinci et mare^ 
adeone credit onine consumptum nefas? 
incerta vaecors mente vaesana feror 
partes in omnes; nude me ulcisci queam? 
utinam esset ill! f rater! est coniunx: in hanc 125 

ferrum exigatur. hoc meis satis est malis? 
si quod Pelasg9.e, si quod urbes barbarae 
novere facinus quod tuae ignorent manus^ 
nunc est paranduni. scelera te hortentur tua 
et cuncta redeant: inclitum regni decus 1-30 

raptum et nefandae virginis parvus comes 
divisus ense, funus ingestum patri 
sparsumque ponto corpus et Peliae senis 
decocta aeno membra: funestum impie 
(piam saepe fudi sanguinein, et nullum scelus 185 

irata feci: movit infelix amor. 

Quid tamen lason potuit, alieni arbitri 
ill risque f actus? debuit ferro obvium 
offerre pectus — melius, a melius, dolor 
furiose, loquere. si potest, vivat mens, 140 

ut fuit, lason; si minus, vivat tamen 
memorque nostri muneri parcat meo. 
culpa est Creontis tota, qui sceptro impotens 
coniugia solvit «ini(jue genetricem abstrahit 
natis et arto pignore astrictam fidem 145 

dirimit: petatur, solus hie poenas luat 
quas debet, alto cinere cumulabo domum; 
videbit atrum verticem flammis agi 
Malea longas navibus flectens moras. 

2S L. AXXAEI SkNKCAK ' {Art If^sr. 2 


XvTi:. silf, ohsecro, (]iiestiis,<jiie secreto abditos \7>y> 

luaiidii dolori. gravia qnisquis vulnera 

patiente et ae<iUo iiiutus aninio pertnlit, 

referre potuit: ira (piae teicitiir luVet; 

professa perdunt odia vindictae locum. 

Med. Levis etit dolor qui capere consilium jH)tcst IT).' 

et clepere seser magna non latitant mala. 

libet ire contra. Xvtk. Siste furialem imj etunu 

alumna: vlxte tacita defendit quie.s. 

Med. Fort una fortes metuit, ignavos premit. 

XvTK. Tunc est probanda, si locum virtus habet. ir>0 

Med. . Xumquam"})otest non es^^e virtuti locus. 

XvTU. Si)es nulla rebus numstrat adMictis viam. • 

Med. (^ui nil potest sperare, des])eret nihil. 

X'vTU. Abiere Colchi, coniugis nulla est lides 

nihilque superest opibus e tantis tibi. \{^:^ 

Mkd. Medea sfip(*rest, hie nunc et teiras vidt'S 

ferrumque et igues et deos et fiiliiuiiii. 

XvTU. Hex est timendus. MV:d, Hex nunis fuerat pat(M-. 

XvTH. Xon nu'tuis arma? Med. Sint licet terra edita. 

X'vTit. ^loriere. Med. Cupio. X\Tn. Proluge. Mei). 

Paenituit fugae. 170 

XvTR. Medea - ^Med. PMam. X'vtu. Mater es. Med. 

Cui sim vides. 
XvTit. Profugere dubitas? Med. Fugiam,at ulciscar j)riis. 
'X'vTii. Vindex se(|uetur. Mei». Forj^an inveniam nio^a^. 
X'^VTK. Compesce verba, parce iam, denuMis, minis 
animosque minue: tempori aptari decet. IVri 

Med. Fort una opes auferre, non animuiii jjotesl. 
sed cuius ictu regius cardo streiutV 
ipse est Felasgo tumidus im])erio Creo. 

CK E( > 

Medea, Colchi noxiunvVeetae genus, 
nondum meis exportat e regnis pedeni? FsO 

ArflLsr.:^] • Mkdea 29 

molitur aliijiiid: iiota fraiis, nuta et^. nianus. 
mi parcet ilia quenive securiini sinet':' 
abolere i)r()|)ere pessiinain ferro luem 
('<juidem parabam: preciljus evicit gener. 
concessa vita est, liberet lines metu 185 

abeatipie tiita. fert graduni contra IViox 
niinaxque nostros propius affatns j)etit. 
arcet€\ famuli, tactii et accessii j)r()cul, 
inbete sileat. regiuni ini])eriuni pati 

aliqiiando discat. vade veloei fuga I'JO 

ni(>iistiuni<iiu* saevinn borribile ianiduduni avelie. 
Med. (^uod crimen aut <inae culpa multatur fuga? 
Ch. (Juae causa pellat, innocens mulier rogat. 
Med. Si iudicas, cognosce. Si regnas, iube. 
Cn. AtHiuum at(pie iniquum regis imjierium feras. IIT) 
Med. lni<pui nunxpiani regna j)erpetuo manent. 
Ch. 1, <|ucrere Colchis. Med. Hedeo: qui avexit, ferat. 
Ch. \'ox constitute) sera decreto venit. 
Med. (^ui statuit aliqiiid i)arte inaudita altera, 
ae(juum li(n4 statuerit, baud ae(pius fuit. 'JdO 

in. Auditusa le l*elia-su])j)liciuui tulit? 
sed fare, causae detur egregiae locus. 
Med. Dillicile (piam sit aninium ab ira llectere 
iam concitatum (|uaui(]ue regale hoc putet 
scei)tris superlias «[uis(juis adniovet nuinus, 2<>5 

<pia coepit ire. regia didici mea. 
piamvis eniui sini clade miseranda obruta, 
expnlsa supplex sola deserta, undi(pie 
attiicta, <pu)ndam nobili fulsi i)atre 

avoque clarum Sole deduxi genus. 210 

quodcunnpie placidis Hexibus J^hasis rigat 
Pontusqu(' (juidijuid Scythicus a tergo videt, 
})alustribus qua maria dulcescunta<piis, 
armata peltis cpiidquid exterret cohorsi 
ihclusa rii)is vidua Thermod<mtiis, 215 

hoe omne noster genitor imperib regit. 


geiierosa, felix, decore regali potenB 

tulsi: petebant tunc meos thalamos proci, 

<iui mine petuntur. rai)ida fortuna ac levi.^ 

praecepsque regno erii)iiit, exilio dedit. 220 

confide regnis, cum It^vis niagnas opes 

hue ferat et illuc casus - hoc reges habj;iit 

magniticuni et ingens, nulla quod rapiatdien: 

prodesse miseris, supj)liees tido hire 

protegere. solum hoe Colehico regno extuli, 2jr» 

decus illud ingens Crraeciae et Horem inclitum. 

praesidia Achivae gentis et prolem deum 

servasse memet. munus est Orpheus mcuni, 

(lui saxa cantu mulcet et silvas trahit, 

geminique munus Castor et Pollux meiiui est 2«J(» 

saticjue Borea quique trans Pontuni quocpie 

summota Lvnceus lumine immiss(» \\(\A. . 

omnesque Minyae: nam ducem taceo duciun. 

pro quo nihil debetur: hunc nitlli impulo; 

vobis revexi ceteros, unum mihi. . 2*»"i 

ineesse nunc el; cuncta tlagitia ingere. 

fatebor: obici crimen hoc solum potest, 

Argo re versa, virgin! placeat pudor 

patenpie j)laceat: tota cum ducibus ruet 

Pelasga tellus, hie tuus primum gener 24(^ 

tauri ferocis ore fiammanti occidet. 

fortuna eausam quae volet nostram preniat* 

non paenitet servasse tot regum decus. 

qiiodcitmque culpa praemium ex omni tuli, 

hoc est penes te. si placet, damna ream; 24.'» 

sed redde crimen, sum nocens, fateor, Treo' 

talem sciebas esse, cum genua attigi 

lidemque supplex praesidis dextrae peti; 

iterum miseriis angulum ac sedem rogo 

latebrasque viles: urbe si pelli placet, 2r>!» 

detiir remotus aliquis in regnis locus. 

Ck, Xoh esse me qui sceptra violentus geran» 


Act tl, so. 2] MeBeA :U 

i:\ec qui supjerbo miserias calcem pecle, 

testatus equid.em videor baud clare parurii 

generum exulem legendo et afflict um et gravi 255 

terrore pavidum, (luipi)e quern j)oenae ex])etit 

letoque Acastus regna Thessalica optinens* 

senio .trementem debili atque aevo graven^ 

|>atrem peremptum queritur et caesi sen is 

discissa membra, cum dolo captae tuo 2(>(> 

piae sorores impium auderent nefas. 

potest lason, si tuam causam amoves. 

^uam tueri: nullum innocuuin cruor 

contaminavit, af uit ferro marius 

proculque vestfo purus a coetu stetitv 2i>^ 

tu, tu malorum machinatrix facinorum 

feminea cui nequitia ad audenda omnia. 

fobur vifile est, nulla famae meniDria, 

egredere, purga regna, letaJv^d simul 

tecum aufer herbas, libera cives nietu, • 27<^ 

alia sedens tellure sollicita deos. 

Med. "Profugere cogis? redde fugienti rateni 

et redde eomitem — fugere cur solam iu))ei? 

non sola veni. bella si metuis pati, 

utrumque regno pelle. cur sontes duos . 275 

liistinguis? illi Pel ia, non nobis iacet; 

f ugam, rapinas adice, desettum patrem 

iacerumque fratrem, quidquid etiam nuhc nova*^ 

docet maritus coniuges, non est meuni : 

totiens nocens sum facta, sed nUmquam uiih'i. • 2S(^ 

,Cn. lam exisse decuit. quid seris fando moras? 

Med. Supplex recedens illud extremum preeor, 

he culpa natos matris insontes trahat. 
-Cr. Vade: hos paterno ut genitor excipiaiii sinu. 

Med. Per ego auspicatos regii tbalanii toros, 2(S5 

|)erspes futuras penpie regnorum status, 

Fortuna varia dubia quos agitat vice, 
^ preeor, brevem largire fugienti m^raui, 

M . J.. AxNAEi Senkcae [AH I/, sc :} 



(In in t^xtronui natis mater intlno oscula, 

torta;<se inoritMis. Cu. Frandibus tenipus petis. 'I'AO 

Med. (}\\i\i' (Vans tinieri tempore exiguo potest? 

('i{. Xnllnm ad noeendnm tempus nngnstnm est. nialis. 

Mei». I'arnmiie miserae temporis lacrimis nej^as? 

('i{. Ktsi rej)ngnat preeibus intixus tinior, 

nnns ])arando (bibitnr exilio dies. ■ 'l\^-> 

Mki). Nimis est, reeidas ali<inid ex isto licet: 

et ipsa propero. Ck. ('ai>ite snpplicinni Ines, 

clarnm priusipiam IMioebus attollat diem 

nisi eedis Isthnio. saera me thalami voeant, 

vocat pree.iri festus Hymenaeo dies. •»««> 


Andax nimium qni freta primns 
rate tam fragili perfidariipit 
terrasjpie snas post terga videns 
an imam levibns eredidit auris, '■V)4 

inter vitae mortis(|ue vias -JOT 

niminm «>raeili limite dneto. 

Candida nostri saecnla patres -Vli) 

videre, proenl frande remota- ;'»'>o 

sna qnisque jnger litora tangens 
patrio(pie senex faetns in arvo, 
parvo dives, nisi (jiias tulerat 

natale solnin, nim norat oj)es: :>:J4 

^ nondnm (piis(piam sidera norat, -iOS) 

stellis(pie (juibns j)ingitiir aether :\\{) 

nun erat nsns, nondum plnvias 
Hvadas j>oterat vitare ratis, 
• ^ • non Oleniae Inmina eaprae 

nee ([uae se(piitur deetitxpie senex 

Attica tardns planstra Hootes, ol.'i 

nondum IJoreas, nondnm Ze})hyrns 

iw)ruil ttMiui tiflcrc l\[£\u) 

Aft J I, so. S] Medea i):\ 

nomen habebant. 

Ausus Tii)liys paiulere vasto 
earbasa i>onto lege8(iue novas 
scribere ventis: nunc Jina sinu ;;•_>(» 

tendere toto, nunc prolate 
pede transversos captare notos, 
nunc antemnas medio tutas 
ponere nialo, mine in suinnK* 

religare loco, cum iam totos ;jo", 

avidus nimhim navita llatus 
optat et alto rubieunda tivimmt 
si para velo. ;;o^^ 

bene dissaepti foedera mundi :{:;;, 

traxit in unum Thessala pin us 
iussitque j)ati verbera poiituui, 
partemque metus fieri nostri 
mare se]K)situm. - • 

dedit ilia graves improba poenas :14[^ 

I)er tarn longos ducta ti mores, 
cum duo montes, claustra profundi, 
bine atque illinc subito im])ulsu 
velut aetlierio gemerent sonitu, 
ypargeret arces nubesijue ipsas 
mare dejn'ensum. ;>4:, 

I)alluit aucUx Tii)bys et omups 
labente manu misit habenjis, 
<.)r])beu's. tacuit tor])ente lyra 
il)sa([,ue vocem perdidit Argo. 
. <juid cum Siculi virgo IVlori; ;{;,(» 

rabidos utero succincta canes, • * 

<>mnes jiariter solvit hiatus? ■ . 

<piis non totos horruitartus 
totiens uno latrante malo? 

'<iuid cum Ausonium dirae i)estes :jr,,-, 

voce canora mare mulcerent, 
cum Pieria resonans cithara 

*>1 L. Annaei Sexecak [Art ///, sc 1 

Tbnicius Orpheus soli tarn cantu 

retinere rates paene coegit 

Sirena sequi? (piod fuit hujiis -iCO 

|)retiiiiu (Mirsus? aiirea pellis 

inaiusiiue mari Medea nialuni, 

nierces j»riiiia digna, carina. 

, Nunc iam cessit pontiis et omnes 
I)atitur leges: non Palladia 365 

com pacta manu regiimque ferens 
iudita remos quaeritur Argo — 
(piaelibet altum cumba pererrat; 
terminus otunis motus et urbes . 
niuros terra posuere nova, 370 

nil qua fuerat sede reliquit 
j)ervius orbis: * . ' 

Indus gelidum i)otat Araxen, 
Albiu Pei*sae Rhenumque bibunt — 
venient annis saecula seris; ' 375 

<|uibus Oceanus vincula reruni 
Ijixet et ingens pateat tellus 
Tetliysiiuo novos detegat orbes 
uec sit terris ultima Thule. 


Aluuma, celerem (pio mpis teetis pedem? 380 

resiste et iras comprime ac retine im])etum. 

Jncerta (jualis entheos gressus tulit 
cum iam rece])to maenas insanit deo 
Pindi nivalis vertice aiit Nysae iugis, 

talis recursat hue et hue motu effera, 385 

furoris ore signa lymphatr gerens. 
Hammata faeies spiritum ex alto citat, 
proclamat, oculos iiberi Hetu rigat, 
renidet: omnis specimen affectus capit. 
(juo pondus animi vergat, ubi ponat minas, 391 

haeret: minatXu* aestuat queritur gemit. 390 

Art. irr^sr. :2] Mkdea B5 

iibi se iste Huetus franget*^ exundat furor. ^U>2 

TH>n facile secum versat ant medium seelus: 
se vincet: irae m)vimu8 veteris notas. 


inat^num ali(iuid instat, efferum immaue impiuui: -W^ 

vultum furoris cenio. di ftdlant metuin ! 


Si quaeris odio, niisera, ([uem statuas nio<hnn: 
iliiitare amorem. regias egoiie ut faces 
iuulta patiarY seguis liic ibit dies, 

tanto petitus ambitu, tanto datus? 400 

diiin terra caelum media libratum feret 
nitidus(iue certas mini d us e vol vet vices 
Tuimerus(pie harenis derit et solein dies, 
noctem secpientur astra, dum siccas polus 
versabit Arctos, flumina in pontimi cadent. 405 

tuin)<j[uam mens cessabit in poenas furor 
<*re8cet<pie sem])er (piae ferarum immaiiitas, 
♦ piae Scylla. (|uae Charybdis Ausonium mare 
SjruhniKpie^sorbens (juaeve anhelantem [nenieMs 
Titana tantis Aetna fervebit minis? ^ 410 

non rapidus amnis, non procellosum mare 
Pontusve coro saevus aut vis ignium 
adiuta Hatn possit imitari impetum 
iras(pie nostras; sternam et evertam omnia. 

Timuit ('reontem ac bella Tliessalici djicisr 415 

amor timere neminem verus potest, 
sedcesserit coactns et dederit manus: 
adire certe et coniugem extremo alkxpii 
sermone jMituit hoc quoque extimuit ferox: 
laxare certe tempiis immitis fugae 420 

genero licebat - liberis unus dies 
datus est duobus. non queror tempus breve: 
multnm patebit. faciet hie faciet dies 
quod nullus umquani taceat invadam decs 
et ciincta quatiam. \vtk. Recipe tiirbatum malis, 425 

r]{\ L. Anxaei Skne( ak' lA't If I, sc 3 

era, i)ectus, jininuim mitiga. Mki>. Sola est (inies, 

mecuni riiina cuiicta si video obrutii: 

mecuni omnia abeant. traliere, cum pereas, iibet. 

\\ TR. Quam multa sint tlmenda, si j.erstas, vide: 

nemo }»otentes aggredi tutus i)otest. 4-»i> 


() dura fata semper et sortemasi)eram, 
cum saevit et cum i)areit ex aequo mala ml ^ • . 

remedia <iiu)tiens invenit nobis deus 
periculis peiora: si vellem tidem 

praestare meritis coniugis, leto fuit . 4;>."> 

cajmt offerendum; si mori nollem, tide 
misero carendum. non timor vicit tidenj,* ' 
sed trepida j)ietas: (piippe sequeretur ne;'em 
proles i)arentum. sancta si caelum incolis, 
lustitia, numeu invoco ac testor tnum.: iM) 

nati patrem vicere. quin ii>sam quiMjue, 
etsi ferox est corde uec patiens iugi, 
considere natis malle quam thalamis reor. 
constituit animus i)recibus'iratam aggredi. 
atque ecce, viso memet exiluit, furit, +45 

fert odia i)rae se: totus in vultu est dolor. 
Med. Fugimus, lason: fugimus - h(K*n<>n est novum, 
mutare sedes; causa fugiendi nova est: 
])ro te solebam fugere. discedo exeo, 

l)enatibus prof ugere quam cogistuis: 450 

at quo remittis? Phasin et Colchos i)etain 
patriumque regnuni quae([ue fraternus cruor 
perfudit arva? (pias peti terras iubes? 
quae maria monstras? Pontici fauces freti 
per quas revexi nobilem regum manum 455 

adulterum secuta per Symplegadas? 
parvamne lolcon, Thessala an Tempe petam;' 
(piascumque aperui tibi vias, clausi niilu 
quo me reniittis? exuli exilium ini[>eras 

Art: Jir, sr. H] Medea :]7 

11 ec da^. eatiir. regius iussit gener: 4rK) 

nihil recnso; (lira supplicia ingere: 

nieriii. onienti^s paelicein poenis preiiiat 

regalis ira, vinculis oneret manus 

i-.laii-sanKjue saxo iioctis aeternae obruat: 
, ininura mentis patiar — ingratum caput, 4<)") 

revx)lvat animus igneos tauri halitiis 

liostjisque subiti tela, cum iussu meo MW) 

t6rrigena uiiies mutua caede occidit; 470 

adice expetita spolia Phrixei arietis 

soninoque iussum lumina ignoto dare 

insomne monstrum, traditum fratrem iieci 

et scelere in uno non semel factum seel us. 

iiiisas(jue natas fraude deceptas me:i 47") 

secare membra non revicturi senis: 

])er spes tuorum liberum et certum hucm; 478 

per victa monstra, per manus, pro te (piibus 

nuuKjuam peperci, perque praeteritos metus. 4S0 

per caelum et undas, coniugi testes mei. 

Uiiserere, redde supplici felix vicein. 4S2 

a lien a qu«erens regna deserui mea: 477 

ex opibus illis, (pias procul ra})tas Scythae 4S:? 

' usque a perustis Indiae populis aijfuntT . 
quas (juia ret'erta vix domus gaza cajut, 4sr) 

ornamus auro nemora, nil exul tuli 
nisi fratris artus: hos (pKxpie impendi til)i: 
tibi patria cessit, tibi pater, f rater, pudor 
hac dote nupsi. redde fugienti sua. ' 
I AS. Perimere cum te vellet infestus Cieo. 4U() 

. lacrimis meis evictus exilium dedit. 
N .Med. Poenam putabam: munus ut video est fuga. 
I AS. 7)um licet abire, profuge teque bine eri})e: 
gravis ira regiun est semper. Med."^ Hoc suades milii, 
})raestas ('reusae: })aelicem invisatn amoves. 495 

intor<|ut' saevos geiitis indoniitae m^?tus . 401 

urmlfei'o in urvo flammt.'um Aeetae i^etnis, 

'58 Ij. Annaki Sknk( ak [AH JJI^ sr. 3 

I AS. Medea ainores ohicit? Mki». Kt caedein et doles. 

Ias. Obicere tandem quod potes crmieii iiiihir 

Mri). yuodciimque feci. Ias. Kestat hoc unmn insnixM, 

tuisutetiani sceleribus Ham iio<*ens. 

Mki). Tiia ilia, tua sunt ilia: eui jjrodest scehis r>(M> 

is fecit - oinues lumiugem infaineni arj»:uaiit. 

solus tuere, solus insonteni vocat 

tibi inhoceits sit (piisfpiis est pro te noeens. 

Ias. Ingrata vita est cuius acce])tae piidct. 

Med. Uetinenda noi* est cuius acceptj\e pudet. -Vo.j 

[as. Quin jM)tius ira concitum pectus donui. 

jdacare natis. Mkd. Abdico eiun* abnu<> 

nieis Creusa liberis fratres dabifr 

Ias. Regina natis exuluin, attlictis poteus. 

Mki). Xon veniat unKpuiui tani nuilus niiseris dies .">!(» 

qui prole foeda nusceat proleminditani, 

I*hoebi nepotes Sisyphi nepotibiis. 

Ias. Quid, niisera, ujeipie tecpie in exitiuni traiiisr ^ 

abscede quaeso. Mkd. Suppliceni audivit Creo. 514 

Ias. Quid facere possin), loquere. Mki>. Pro me? vel scelus. 

Ias. Hinc rex et illinc Mkd. Kst et bis maicu- nu*tus: 

Medea, nos f confiigere certemus sine, 

sit pretium lason.. Ias. Cedo defessus nialis. 

et ipsa casus saepe iam expertos time. 

Med. Fortuna semper omn is infra me stetit. 52i> 

Ias. Acastus instat. Med. Proj)ior est hostis Creo: 

utrumque profuge. non ut in socerum manus 

armes nee ut te caede eognata inquines 

Medea cogit: innocens mecum fuge. 

Ias. Etquis resistet, gemina si bella ingruant, Wi:^ 

Oreo atque V cast us arma si iungant sua? 

Med. His adice Colchos, adice et Aeeten ducem* 

ScythasPelasgis iunge: demerso^ dabo. 

Ias. Alta extimesco sceptra. Med. \e cupias vide. 

Ias. Suspecta ne sint, longa colloquia amputa. .Viu 

Med. Kunc summe toto Iui)pittr caelo tona. 

Art III, ,sf: :i] Medea :'»\^ 

hitende dextraiii. vinilices HHimiias pani 

omneitique niptis mibibus luunduiii <]iiate. 

nee deligenti tela librentur inaiui • 

vel me vel istuni: (juisquis e nobis cadet T^'\7i 

iioeens peribit. nori ji^test in nos tumn 

errare fulmen. I as, Sana mod itari iiieifx* 

t't pla.cida fare, si quod ex soceri donn* 

potest t'ugani levare solanien, pete, 

Mei>. Contenniere animus regias. ut scis, (»j)es J^}\{\ soletque: iiberos tantum t'ugae 

iiabere eomites b'ceat in quorum sinn 

lacrimals profundam. te noviiiati manent. 

Ian. Parere ]»reeibus eupere me fatecu* tuis; 

j)ietas v^tat: namque istud ut possim ]);iti. "45 

non ipse memet eogat et rex et soeer. 

haee eausa vitti est, hoc perusti pectoris 

<*uris levamen. sj)irltu eitius queam 

carere, membris. luce. Med. Sie natos an»at? 

bene est, tenetur. vulned patuit locus. o.")(> 

suprema certe liceat abeuntem lo(|ui 

nuindata, liceat ultimum amplexum dare: 

gratum est et illud, voce iam extrema peto, 

ne, si (jua noster dubius effudit dolor. 

nmneant in animo verba: melioris tibi .%.">ri 

luemoria nostri sedeat: haec irae data 

oblitterentur. Ias. Omnifi ex animo cxpidi 

precor<[ue et ipse, fervidam ut mentem rcgas 

placideque tractes: miserias lenit (piies. 

Med. Discessit. itane est? vadis oblitns nici ^)t'.o 

ct tot meorum facinorum? excidimus tibi? 

numquam excidemus. hoc age. omnes advocn 

vires et artes; fructus est scelerum tibi 

nullum scelus jmtare. vix fraUdi est locds: . 

timemur. hac aggredere, qua nemo potest '»♦).'» 

quic(puim timere. perge nunc^ audo, incipe 

quidquid potest Medejj, quidquid non j>otest. 

4o ; T.. Annaei SENEC AK- [Arf [tT, sr. 4 

Tu^ lida mitrix, soeia niaemris mei 
varii(jue casus, misera eonsilia adinva. 

»'st j)alla nobis, imimiH aetheriuni^ doimu^ 57«> 

decus(|iie regiii, pij^nus Aeetae datiun 
a Sole jft'iieris^ t^st et aiiro textili 
nionile t'lilgeiis (iiiod([iie gemiiiaruni iut»n' 
distingiiit aurum, (juo s'^)lent cingi comae, 
haec nostra nati dona nubenti ferant, ' .t75 

scd ante diris inlita ac tincta artibus. 
vocetin* Hecate, sacra letitica aj)j)ara: 
statnantur arae, tiannna iani tectis sonet. 


Xnlla vis tianiniae tumidive'venti 

tanta, nee teli nietuenda torti, t r>80 

quanta cum coniunx viduata taedis 
ardet et (nlit; 

lion ubi hibernos nebulosus imbres 
Auster advexit i)roj)erat(iue torrens 
Hister et iunctos vetat esse jumtes ".^5 

ac vagus errat; 

lion ubi impellit Hhodaniis profnndum, 
nut ubi in rivos nivibus solutis 
sole iam forti medio<iue \ere 

tabu it Haemus. r»llO 

caecus et ignis stimulatus ira 
nee regi curat patiturve frenos 
aut timet mortem: cu[)it ire in ipsos 
obvius enses. 

])arcite, o divi, veniam j)reeamur, ;M»r» 

vivat ut tutus mare ipii subegit. 
sed t'urit viiu'i dominus jirotiindi 
regna secunda. 

J usus aeternos agitare currus 

iniUiemor nu'tae iuvenis ])aternae {\\\[) 

Art I J], sr. }] - Mki>ka 41 

• jiios |.(>!() .s|.arsit I'lirrosus \^\ws 
ipse lecepit, 

constitit iiiilli via iiota niagno: 
vadeqiia tntiini jjojiulo i)ri(iri, 

nuiipe uec sacra violente sancta •♦(>.■» 

foedera nuindi. 

<^)uis(iuis audacis tetiifit cariiuie 
nobiles renios nemoriscjiH* sacri 
Pelioii densa si)()liavit uinbra, 
. <liiis(|iiis intravit seopulos vagaiitts r.jH 

^t tot oiuensus pelagi labores 
harbara fiinein reli^av it ora 

raj>t()r externi reditnniH ami. • 

exitu diro tenw^rata piniti 

iura j)iavit. *iir» 

exigit poeiuis mare provocatuni: 
Tiphys in priiiiis. doniitor j»rnfiiiidi, 
liquit indocto regimen 'niajifistro: 
litore externo, proeul a paternis 

occidens regnis tumuUxpie vili l'»2<* 

tectus ignotas iaeet inter umbras. 
Aulis amissi mentor inde regis 
portibiis lentis retiuet carinas 
stare (pierentes. 

ille vocali genitus Camena, tyl'} 

enins ad ehordas modulante plectio 

restitit torrens, silnere venti, 
- enni suo eantu volueris relicto 

adfuit tota comitante silva, 

frhraeios sparsus iaeuit ])er agn s, ^;:Jii 

"at caput trlsti tliiitavit Hebro: 

<'ontii»:it notam Styga Tartarurnqne, 
non rediturus. 

stravit Alcides Aijuilone nat(Hs, 

patre Xeptiun* genitnm necavit ti'-l% 

42 L. Ax.VAKf ^EXKCAK {Art flf.sif', 4 

Muniere iiumiiieraK !^)lituni figuntst 
ipse ]KKst t+^rnie pHagique paeem, 
p»>st tVri Ditis j)atefacta regua^ 
vivus anhniti rwiilyans in Oeta 

(nael)iiit saevis sua nieinhra Haniinis', «>4(t 

\i\W ccvimiunptiis gemini eniorw 
imiiiere nuptae. 

.Ntia\il Ancae^uin vioientiiH ictu 
sieti^tT: tVatitMu, Meleugre, niatriK 
iinpius mactas niorerlsijiie dextra <U5 

tnatris iratue. ineniere cuncti 
niorlc (pKx! eriiiieii teiier expiavit 
Hercnli inagno piier imepei'tus, 
raptus, lieu, tntas puer inter iindaK, 
ite iiune. f<»rtes, perarate |K)nt\im <;;><) 

t'onte time n do. 

Idnioueni, quanivis bene fata nosset. 
condidit serpens Libycis harenis; 
omnibus verax, sibi falsw^nni 

eoneidit Mopsus eaniitque Thebis. (>.">."> 

illesi vere eei'init fiitura, 

igne t'allaei n<H'itunts Argis \\:^x 

Xauplius praeeeps eadet in i)rofundujn. 
* * j)atri<)(]U> pendet {\{\{hf 

erimine poenas M{\\)h 

fulmine et ponto uinriens (>ileus; 
coniugis fatum red i mens Pheraei 
uxor, im loudens an imam marito. 
ipse qui pmedam spoliumque iussit 
aureum ])rima revehi carina, <>(ir» 

ustus aeeenso IVlias aeno 
a rsit an gus-tas vagus inter undas. 
iam satis, divi, mare vindieastis: 

pareite iusso. 

.^ — — 

t'xnl t'iravU 'riH'ii<lis iiiurh ns • ♦I.-,; 

Act / \\ sf. /| Mkdka 43 


Pavct animus, hinret. magna peniitut.s adf'st. 670 

iruuiHue quantuni au«^e.scit ft semeL dolor 
;icc**iidit Ipse vimt^ue praeteritam mtegi*af. 
vidi fureutem saepe et aggressam decs, 
caelum trahenlum: mains his, maius parat 
Medea monstruni. namque ut attonito gradn {'^7S 

ovasit et penetrale funestum attigit, 
iotas opes elf undit et quidquid diu 
etiam ij)sa limuit promit atque omnem expliraf 
turbam malorum, arcana secreta abdita, 
et triste laeva r comprecaus sacrum mann riHO 

fientes vocat qnascumque ferventis creat 
barena Libjae quasque perpetua nive 
Taurus cobercet frigore Arctoo rigeus, 
t^t omne monstrum. tracta magicis cantibns 
squamilera latebris turba desertis adest. t^nr* 

bic saeva serpens corpus immensum trabit, 
triftdamque linguam exertat et quaerit quibus 
iiiortifera veniat: carmine audito stupet 
tunudumque nodis corpus aggestis plicat 
<^3gitque ill orbes. *parva sunt' inquit *maia r,90 

et yile telum est, ima quod tellus creat: 
caelopetam veiiena. iamiam tempus eM 
aliqviid movere frkude vulgari altius. 
line ille vasti more torreutis iacens 

descendat anguis, cuius immensos duar, t>*J5 

inaior minorque, sentiunt nodos ferae 
( niaior i'el^sgis apca, Sidoniis minor) 
j)ressasque tandem solvat Ophiuchus mauus 
virusque I'undat; adsit ad cantus meos 
lacessere ausus gemina Python numiua. 7()0 

et Hydra et omnia redeat Herculea mann 
succisa serpens, caede se reparans sua. 
tn quoque relictis pervigil Oolchis ades. 

44 L. Annaki Skkecak | Art / r, sr. I 

so})ite primimi cantibus, serpens, meis.' 

Postquam evocavit omne serpentuin tr^^mis. 7n;. 

oongerit in unum frugis infaustae mala: 
quaecumque general invius saxis Eryx. 
quae fert opertis hienie perpetua iugis 
sparsus cruore Caucasus l*romethei, 

et quis sagittas divites Arabes linunt 71 1 

pharetraque jnignax Me<lus aut Parthi U*ves '{o 

aut quos sub axe frigido swcos legunt 71 J 

Ineis Suebae nobiles Hercvniis: 
quodcumque tellus vere nidifico creat 

aut rigida cum iara bruma discussit deciis 7 1 'i 

nemorum et nivali cuncta constrinxil gehi. 
quodcumque graiiien Hore mortifero viret, 
quicumque tortis sucus in radicibus 
causae nocendi gignit, attroctat manu. 
Haemonius illas cuntulit pestes Athos, 72(' 

lias Pindus ingens. ilia Pangaei iugis 
teneram cruenta falce deiK)sult comaui: 
has aluit altum gurgilem Tigris premens, 
Daniivius illas, has per arentes ])lagas 

tepidis Hyda8i)es gemmifer currens aquis. 72'* 

nomenque terris qui dedit Baetis suis 
Kesperia pulsans maria languenti vado. 
haec passa ferrum est, dum parat Phoelnis diem, 
illius alta nocte succisus I'rutex; 
at huius ungue secta caiitato seges. 7-*»i» 

Mortifera carpit gravuina ac serpentiujii 
saniem exprimit miscetque et obscenas aves 
maestique cor bubonis et raucac strigis 
exsecta vivae viscera. Iiaec scelerum artitcK 
discreta ponit; his ra])ax vis ignium. 7:^'» 

his gelida pigri frigoris glacies inest . 
addit venenis verba non illis minus 
metuenda. sonuit eece vesano gradu 
*!anitque. muridus vocibus primis treinil. 

— ... -. > 





[rt /r, .vr. -^1 


Coiuprecor viiigus silentum vosque lerales deos 
et <Jhaos caecum atque opacam Ditis umbrosi domiim, 
/l^artari ripis t ligatos squalidae Mortis specus. 
siipplicis, animae, remiasis currite adthalamos novos: 
rota resistat membra torquens, tan gat Ixion humiiiji, 
Tantalus securus imdas hauriat Pirenidas. 
i^ravior uni poena sedeat cqniugis socero mei: 
luhricus per saxa retro Sisyphum vol vat lapis. 
v«)s <[iioque, umis quas foratis inritus ludit labor, 
Danaides, eolte: vestras hie dies qiiaerit manus. - • 
mine meis vocata sacris, noctium sidus, veni 
posHimos induta vultus, fronte non una mlnax. 
Tibi more gentis vinculo solvens comam 

seereta nudo nemora lustravi pede 

k^i evoeavi nubibus siccis aquas 

egique ad imum maria, et Oceanus graves 

interius uudas aestibus victis dedit; 

pariterque mundus lege confusa aetheris 

et soleni et astra vidit et vetitum mare 

tetigistis, ursae. temporum flexi vices?: 

aestiva tellus floruit cantu meo, 

ct»acta messem vidit hibernam < 'eres; 

violenta i^hasis vertit in fontem vada 

i't Hister, in tot ora divisus, truces 

compressit undas omnibus ripis piger. 
Sonuere fluctus, tumuit insanum marc. 

tacente vento; nemoris antiqui domus 

amisit umbras, vocis imperio meae 

die rcducto; Phoebus in medio stetit 

Ilyadosque nostris cantibus motae labant: 

.idesse sacris tempus est, Phoebe, tuis. 

t ihi liaec cruenta serta texuntur manu, 

no vena quae serpens ligat, 
til>i haec Typhoeus membra quae discors tuHt. 

qui regha concussit Tovis. 





i 5« > 



/ 1 


vectoris intic perlidi sanguis inesi, 77r» 

quern Nossus expirans dedit. 
Ortaeuji isto cineie de fecit roguh, 

qui virus Herculeum bibit. 
piae sororLs, inipiae matris, faceui 

uitricis Altheae vides. 7s< » 

reliquit istas invio plumas specu 

Harpyia, dum Zeten fugit. 
bis adice pinnas sauciae Stymphalid<»,^ 

Lernaea passae spicula. 
sonuistis, arae, tripodas agnosco nuH>s 7}sr» 

t'avente commotos dea. 

Video Triviae currus agihis. 
uon quos pleno lucida vultu 
peniox agitat, sed quos facie 

lurida maesta, cum ThesHalicif^ 7\)0 

vexata minis caelum freno 
propiore legit, sic face tristem 
pallida lucem funde per auras, 
horrore novo terre populos 

iuque auxilium, Dictynna, tuuni T'.c, 

pretiosa sonent aera Corinth i. 
tlbi sanguineo caespite sacruui 
sollemne damus, tibi de medio 
rapta sepulchro fax nocturnos 
sustulit ignes, tibi mota caput ><•»(> 

\ liexa voces cervice dedi, 
.tibi f unereo de more iacens 
l>assoB cingit vitta capillos, 
tibi iactatur tristis Stygia 

ramus ab unda, tibi nudato n( >:» 

pectore maenas sacro f eriam 
bracchia cultro. manet noster 
sanguis ad aras: assuesce, manu.s. 
stringere ferrum carosque pati 

.!<•/ / r, sr. :>\ MKhEX 4 


|.K>sse oruores sa<M'uin lati<*eni . SH» 

|)ercu88H dedi. 

qnodsi nimiiiui .sat*|K; vtM^ari 
•juereris votis, ignosce precoi : 
trausa voeandi, Persei, tiio^ 

saepius areas una atque oadt^m vM x l^'i 

.semper, lason. 

tu nunc vestes tinge ('rtusa«s 
ipias cum primuni sum[»serit, iman 
urat serpens flanuna mediiilas. 
ignis fulvo clusus in auru xj«» 

latet obscurits, queni niihi cjieli 
qui furta luit viscoro feto 
dedit et docuit condere vires 
arte. Prometheus. dtMlit etteuui 
sulphure tectos Muleiher ign<Vs. s2:. 

et vivaeis I'ulgura tiamina*^ 
de cognate Pliaethonte tuli. 
habeo mediae dona (^biinaeiMe. 
habeo flam mas usto tauri 

gutture raptas, quas [)ennixto S;{<« 

telle Medusae taciturn iussi 
servare malum. 

adde venenis stimuios, IJewitc 
doniscjue meis semina rianiina*^ 
(xmdita serva. failant visus ><:»:# 

tactusque ferant, meet in pectus 
* venasque calor, stillent artus 
ossaque fument vincatque suas 
tlagrante coma nova nupta face.s. 

Vota tenentur: ter latratns ^ n4u 

audax Hecate dedit etsacros 
edidit ignes facelucifera. 

Peia<;ta vis est omnis: hue natos vo<tji, 
pift iosa per quos dona nubenti feras. 
iii\ ire. nati. matris infaustae genus, H4r. 

4S L. AXNAEI SkNK<'AK [Art IV, sr. :i 

}t\i\.v'd\v vobis iiiimer** et multa piece 

(loininaiii a<! iiovenuun. vadite et celen*s (h^iiuin 

n*t>rh* iTR'ssus, n If lino amplexu iit fruar. 


(^lUMiaiii cTueuta inaenas 

praeee})s aniore saevo H50 

rapitur? (juod impotenti 
t'aeliius parat furore? 
vultns ci tains ira 
ri^et et caput feropi 
, «iuatiens superba motu J^5r» 

regi niinatur ultro. 
•piis creclat exulem? 

/laj^niut genae rubentes, 

pallor tu«i^at ruboiem, 

iiuliuni vagante forma . ^^'^"^ 

servat din colorem. 

hue fert pedes et illuc, 

lit tijjris orba natis 

cbrsn furente lustrat 

( iangeti<Hini nemus . J^^* 

>. » 

frt'iuire nescit iras 

Medea, non amores; 

nunc ira aniorque causani 

i u J 1 X ere : < \ uid sequetur ? 

«|naudo efteret Pelasgis STo 

iM^fanda ('olchis arvis 

gressuin luetuque sol vet 

regnnin simulque reges? 

nunc, rhoebe, mitte currus 

uuUo moi'anteloro, , S/o 

liox ciuvdat alma luceni, 

luergat diem timendum 

dux noetis Hesperus. 

« V 

AH \\ sr. H\ Medea 1'.» 


Periere cuiiota, coueidit regni states. 
nata atque genitor cinere permixto iacent. shi 

Chok. Qua fraude oapti? Xv'NT. Qua solent ivi^^es cMpi. 
doniN. OiioK. Ill illLs esse quis potuit dolus? 
XvNT. Et ipse niiror vixque iam fact(» uial<» 
potuisse fieri cMedo. quis dadis modus? 
avidus per ouuiem re^iae i»artem furit >n.'» 

ut iussus ignis: iam domus tota oecidit, 
urbi timetur. Chor. \'iida flammas uppriuwit. 
XvNT. Et hoe in ista clade mirandum aceidit: 
ulit umla flammas, quoque proliibetur maifis. 
nia^is ardet ignis: ipsa praesidia oceupat. s«>o 


EtTer eitatum sede I\»lopea gradum. 
Medea, praeeeps q nasi i bet terras pete. 


Egoue ut recedam? si profugisseni |»rins. 
41 d !u»c redirem. nu])tias specto novas. 
(|uid, anime. cessas? sequere felicem impetum. ^'k"* 

pare ultionis ista, qua gaudes, quota est? 
a mas adhue, furiose, si satis est tibi 
eaelebs lasou. quaere poenarum gt^iius 
Itaut usitatum iamque sic teniet para: 

fas omne eedat, abeat expulsus ])ud(»r; Umo 

vindicta ievis est quani ferunt purae maiius. 
ineumbe in iras te(|ue languentem excita 
penitus<pie veteres peetore ex imo impetus 
violentus hauri.^ quidquid admissum est adlmc, 
pietas vocetur. hoc age et faxissciant '.M»r» 

(juam levia fuerint quamque vulgaris uotiM* 
<puie e<>umiodavi scelera. pi'olusit dolor 
per ista uoi^ter: (pjid manus poterant ru(i«s 


I.. AXNAKi Sknki;ak \A<'t W .v/-. .V 

audore iiuignuui? quid piiellaris furor? 

Medea iniuc sum; crevit in^eniuin malia. *Mn 

III vat, ill vat rapuissu t'raterinnii caput; 
artusi ill vat secuisse et arcano patrem 
spoliasse saoro, invat in exitium senis 
armasse natas. quaere materiam, dolor: 
ad omue faeinus jioii rudem dextram alteres. *.♦! '> 

Quo te igUur, ira, mittis, aiit quae perfido 
intendis hosti tela? iieseio quid ferox 
deorevit animus intus et noiiduin sibi 
audet fateri. stulta properavi nimis: 

f'\ paeliee utinam liberos hontis meus ^v2n 

aliquos ija)>eret — quidquid ex illo tuiuii estj 
Treusa peperit. placuit hoc poenae genuH, 
meritoque placuit: ultimum, aguosco, acelus 
anlmo parandum est — liberi quondam mei. 
vr>8 pro paternis sceleribus poenas date. '.»2.'> 

(/or pepulit horror, membra torpescunt ^eln 
f>ectuaque tremuit. ira discessit loco 
mater«|Ue tota coniugo expuisa redit. 
egone ut meorum liberum ac prolis me:ie 
lundam cruorem? melius, a, deraens furor! ^»:R) 

incognitum istud facinus ac dirum nefas. 
a me quoque ai>sit; quod sceius miseri luent':' 
H<*elus est lason genitor et mains seel us 
Medea mater — occidaut, non sunt mei. 
I»creant? mei sunt. <^rimine et culpa carent. 935 

sunt innocentes: I'ateor, et f rater fuit. 
quid, anime, titubas? om quid lacrimae rigant 
variamque nunc iiuc ira, nunc illuc amor 
diducitr ancepa aestus incertani rapit; 
ut saeva rapidi bella cum venti gerunt '.Ho 

utrimque tluctus maria discordes aguat 
diibiumque fervet pelagus, baut aliter men in 
cor tiuctuatur. ira pietatem fugat 
iramcpie pietas <'ede pietati, dolor. 

Af-f F, s<\ 4] Medea 51 

Hue, cara proles, uuiciim atllictae domus 945 

s«>lamen, hue voh ferte et infusos mihi 
(iorimngite artus. habeat ineoluuies pater, 
duui et mater habeat — urguet exilium ac fuga. 
iuiu iam meo rapientur avulsi e sinu, 

llentes, gementea oseulis — pereant patri, 950 

peiiere matri. rursus increscit dolor 
et fervet odium, repetit invitam manum 
nntiqua Erinys ira, qua duels, sequor. 
utinam superbae turba Tantalidos meo 
exisset utero bisijue septenos parens 955 

natos tulissem! sterilis in poenas fui 
tratri patri que quod sat est, peperi duos. 

Qudnara ista tendit turba Furiarum imj)otf^nsV 
quern quaerit aut (pio tiaiumeos ictus parat, 
aut eui cruentas agmen infernum faces 960 

inteutatV ingens auguis excusso sonat • 
tortus rtagelio, (piem trabe infesta petit 

M(^gaera? - cuius umbra dispersis venit 

incertji membris? frater est, poenas petit 

dabimus, sed onuies. lige luminibus laces, 966 

lania, perure, pectus en Furiis patct. 
Discedere a me, frater, ultrices deas 

niaues<iu(i ad iuios ire seciuas iube: 

uiihi me relinque et utere hac, frater, maun 

quae strinxit ensem — victima manes tuos 970 

phieamus ista. quid repens afCert sonus? 

parantur arnia meque in exitium petunt. 

exci'lsu nostrae tecta conseendam domus 

rae«i»' iiH'j'luita. jjerge tu mecum comes. 

tunm qiuK|ue ipsa corpus hinc mecum aveham. 975 

iiniic h'»c ui^e, auime: non in occulto tibi est 

p«M»b^n<i;i virtus: aj)proba populo manum. 


(^ui(Minique n^guui eladihus tjdus doles. 

52 1.. Annakj Sknkcak [At-t !'.>#•. / 

eoucurre, ut ipsaiu sceleris auctoreni tiorridi 

eapiaraus. hue, hue fortis armiferi cobors **sn 

conferte tela, vertite ex imo doimuii. 

Med. lam iam recepi seeptra,gernianuni piitrtni, 

spoliumque Colchi pecudis auratae tenent: 

rediere regna, rapta virgiuitas redit. 

<» placida tandem niimina, <> festiun diem. - l»s."» 

(> nuptialem! vade. perfectum est scelus: 

vindicta nondum: perage, dum faeimit mamis. 

quid nunc moraris, aiiimeY quid dubitas p(»tensr 

iam cecidit ira. paeuitet facti, jmdet. 

quid, misera, feci? misera? paeniteal licet. ' '.n>n 

feci — voluptas magna me iuvitam snbit. 

et ecce crescit. derat hoe nnum mihi. 

spectator iste. nil adhue facti reor: 

quidquid sine isto feeimus sceleris perit. 

Eas. En ipsa tecti }»arte praecnpiti imminet. *>*.»."» 

hue rapiat ignes aliquis, ut tlammis eadnt 

huis perusta. Mkj>. <'<»ngere extremum tuis 

natis, lason, funus. ae fumulum strue: 

eoniunx socerque iusta iam functis ha bent. 

a me sepulti; natus hie fatum tulit. l<»nn 

hie te vldente dabitiir exitio pari. 

[as. Pernumen oniue i»erque eommimes tiigas 

torosque, quos non nostra violavit fides. 

iam parce nato. si quod est crimen, meuni est: 

me dedo morti: noxium maeta caput. I<m»:» 

Med. Hac qua recusas, (jua doles, f err urn exi<iani. 

1 nunc, superbe, virginum thalamos pete, 

relinque matres. I as. Ynus est poenae satis. 

Med. Si posset una caede satiari haec manns, 

nullam jjetisset. ut duos perimam, tamen . ln|o 

nimium est dolori numerus angustus meo. 

£as. Iam perage coeptum facinus, haut ultra precor. HH4 

in matre si quod pignus etiamiiunc lat^jl . u*\'j 

scrntaborcnse viscera ot ferro extrnhrmi. 

Art F, .sv. i\ MKi>f:A 5:3 

iiioi'ani(|iu* salteiu siipplicis donameis. 1015 

Mki>- Perfruere leiito scelere, ue projHMji. ilolor: 

iiif^us^ dies est: tempore aecepto iitimur. 

I AS. Ill testa, iiiemet perime. Med. Misereri iubes. 

I>ene est, peiactuui est. plura noii habiii, dolor, 

'|uao tibi Jitareiij. luniina hue tumida alleva, 1020 

in<<nite lasori. coiiiiigeni agnoscis tuaiuV 

sic iHgere soleo. patiiit in caelum via: 

squamosa gemirii colla serpentes iiigo 

."^uuimissa praebent. recipe iamiu»t«)s, parens: 

i»go inter auras aliti curru vehaf. 1025 

I AS. IVr alta vade spatia aublimi aetliere, 

t«»starc imllos esse. «|ua veheris, deos. 



Scene 1 (vv. 1-56). Medea iiivok<'s tin- venjreaiic*' oS the jrmls 
ubove and beneath on King Creon and his duughUT, who have 
seduced her husband from lier, and at tlie close vows that her rL»i>udi- 
ation shall bs marked by scenes as terrible as lier nmrrisjp' wit li 
Jason had been. 

2. Luciiia: the briiiger-to light an epithet «>ften ap- 
plied to Diana (cf. Horace, C. S. 15) and also to Juno (el. 
Plaiitus, AuL 684). Luna (Luc-na), which is the Latin name 
of Phoebe (Diana), is the same word in another form, qiiae- 
que. . .dwuiHti: Pallas, identified by the Komans with 
their Minerva. It was under her direction that the mater- 
ials were chosen and the work (h)ne in building the Arg«' 
(cf . w, 365-367). 

3. novam: The Argo was sui»p()sed to have been the 
first Grecian vessel that dared attempt a long sea voyage. 

4. profundi. . .doiuiiiator maris: Xeptnne (cf. domf 
mispiofimdi^ v. 597). ,■ 

5. Titau: a name frequently applied by the j>oets t(» 
Helios, the sun-god, as a descendant of the Titans who 
were overthrown by Zeus. In r. 4lo Enceladus is spoken 
of under this designation, orbi: sc. ferrarvfii. Orhi is 
indirect object of dimdeths. 

6. "Offering thy bright image as confidant to nnuttered 

7. Heeati' trifoniiis: vi\ /route non una {r. 751), frl- 
r^jhs Hectftt (Ovid, Met. 7, 194). This goddess was thought 
of as having fiuu'tions in heaven, on earth and in the infer- 
iiiil world. She was identified or confused, therefore, with 
S('U»ne or Phoebe ( Luna), with Artemis (Diana), and with 
Persephone (Proserpina). 

KK Manestiue inipios: ghosts of the wicked dead, who 
are invoked along with their rulers, Pluto and Proserpina. 

11. doiiiinniii: Pluto, doniiiiam. . .raptam: Proser- 
pina, who had been carried off by Pluto and made his 
bride (Hyginus. Fffb. 146; Ovid, Jfe^ 5, 359-424), but not 
deserted later as Medea had been; hence the phrase "with 
better faith/' v(K'e nou fausta: because invocation of the 
powers of darkness wan nefas. 

1-]. adeste: ''Be present to aid*'— a common form of 
invocation (cf. fni.sis, Vergil, GeoYg, 1, 18, etc., etc.). deae: 
the Furies ( Alecto, Megaera and Tisiphone), whose duty it 
was to torment men for their evil deeds. They were called 
by the (i reeks Erinyes, Enmenides (well disposed) and 
Sftnticfe (blessed), and by the Homans Dime and Fiiriae, 
Their tongues protruded, and instead of hair they had liv- 
ing serpents. In one hand each carried a torch (trabe, r. 
9<>2) and in the other a scourge whose lashes were living 
serpents {amjuis, r. 9»)1), and they were always bespattered 
with the blood of their helpless victims. Cf. Vergil's 
description of Tisiphone (Aen, 6, 571). 

15 17. (^f. rv/. 2:]-25. 

17. coniugi. . novae: the princess Glance or (Veusa, 
whom Jason was about to marry. 

18. s(K!ero: kingCreon. regiae stirpi: the whole royal 
house of Corinth. 

1 9. mihi peius a liquid : Having called down destruction 
hpt>n her rival and her rival's family, she now prays that a 
fate still worse may befall her faithless husband (cf. with 
rr. JO 25 I)id</s curse cm Aeneas, Vergil, Aen. 4, 012 020). 

22. Iitj'ip;^^: a stranger or guest, i. e. homeless. 

•NOTKS 'u 


24. similes. . .matri: like their i'ath«^r (in iaiUiless 
ness), like their mother (in l)oId wiekedues^.s and imhuppv 

26. peperi: **I have given birth U> vengeance.*' Had 
Medea already some idea of the means bv which she linalh 
punished her recreant husband (of. vr. 541 », 5.50}? (nie- 

relas. . .scro? It is tiree for action, r.d for wok's. 

27. manibus: dat.— from their hands, faces: lor the 
marriage procession. 

28. caelo: same construction as iiuinibuf<. Medea was 
credited (Ovid. Met, 7, 207 209) with having power t<^ dark- 
en the heavens, spec tat. . .poii: *'I)oes he see this, and 
does he still show his face and pass on in his wonted 
course?'' The allusion is to the sun's having hid(UMj his 
face and retraced his course in horror at sight of tiie feast 
of Thyestes (cf. J/;«w?. 27,295 297; 77/ ///'.v^f.s 77(>, 7Hil 1\K\, 
1030 ff.). iiostri sator generis: Phoebus (Soli, who was the 
father of Aeetes and hence grandfather of Medea. 

35. Corinthos: nom. gemino. . .litore: abl. (|nalit\. 
Cf. himarh Connthi (Horace, (\ I, 7, 2). himnri i^oihithn 
(Ovid, Met, 5, 407), himaren terras {(h(J. 2^<2). op|MHieiis 
moras: cf. fleatens- moras, r. 149. Tlie long and dan 
gerous voyage around the Peloponnesus was rendered lu (•t\s 
sarj' by the presence of the narrow isthmus of Corinth whicli 
separated the ('orinthian Gulf from the .Vegean Sea. Many 
attempts were made in ancient times to pierce tht» (►bstacle, 
but it was not until our own day (1894) that a canal was 
completed. It follows nearly the line surveyed in <>7 \. I), 
for Nero, who broke ground for it with his (ivvn hands (Sn- 
etonins. Nem 19i. 

3H. cremata: nom., agreeing with (\ninthos. tlan:- 
iiiis. . .duo: unite the two seas with Hanie. 

37. proniibani. . .pinum; (me of the tenches (d. fans, 
c, 27) borne in the marriage ])rocession. Pmanham is ad- 

40. |K»r viscera ijisa: the entrails <d' the victims (ni the 

.">S No IKS 

altar a eomnion method of divination (cf. Otd. 352 ff.). 

4;j. Caucasum: This range of mountains, with its rug- 
ged heights and everlasting snows, represented to the an- 
rients all tliat was repellent and terrible in nature. The 
figure here is placed very appropriately in the mouth of Me- 
dea, whose childhood's home had been at the base of the 
( 'aucasus. 

45. ettera, i^uota, etc.: neuter. 

48. Scan as follows: funus \ per ar I iiiH ltd \ a me- 
mo I rael \ nimis. The third foot is a dactyl, the fourth a 
tribrach and the sixth a pyrrhic. 

49. haec: These tilings "All this I did as a girl" (cf. 
/*. ',H)9). exnrgat: txsuvffat. 

51. accingere: the •*middle'' use of the [)assive ncrhi- 
ifur "Gird vourself.'' 

52. paria. . .thalainis: Her marriage with Jason had 
involved the betraval and desertion of her father and moth- 
er and the murder of her brother. She now proposes to cel- 
(^brate her repudiation by means of crimes as dreadful. 

54. hoc: sc. nwdn. 

SrENK 2 (vv. ri6-115). A c>}iot'us of lorintbiaii women approaclK'S 
ihaiitinj? the epithalamloii or marriage song of Jason and Crtiusa. 
First the gods above are invoked (56-74), th^n the beauty of the bride 
(75-81, 9IJ-i»8) and the sr(X)m (8U-89) is pra'sed, as taunt is flung at the re- 
jected wife (102-106, 114, lir>), and the young men ar.^ challenged to 
make the most of the unisaal license j^ranted them l)y the iM'oasion 
loT-114}. For the metres .st^>e rntrv)duction, p. 9. 

5*J. TouaiiH, the proper epithet of Jupiter (cf. Horace. (\ 
• », 5, 1), here is extended to his sister- wife as well. 

♦>1. tVnniia: sc. 6o.v. nivei. .corporis: gen. quality, 
which here does not difter in force from the ablative in ter- 
ifftre citmlido above. (UnuUdo and iiUel both refer to the 
re<pjirement that the victim's body be ()f spotless white 
(tlK)se offered to the infernal gods were black), and intemp- 
tatif in go just below suggests the further law that they 
must not have i)een <*oiitaniinat'Ml by subjeeticm to the ser- 
viee of man. 

NotKs 59 

B*2i ylacet: {d long) subjunctive. 

63. quae. » .retinet: Pallas (Minerva), representing sci- 
entific and civilized warfare, as Ares (Mars) represented 
sheer force (Homer, Ih 5, 840; 21, 406). 

67* tn (lui. . .ades: Hymen (cf. ^. 110). facibus legri* 
timis: dat. Hymen was invoked in Song at all Greek wed- 
dings (see V. 116 and note). 

71. tu quaei . iredis: Hesperus, the evening star. Cf. 
farde ,, red is .. amantibus with Vesper ,. expectata diu vix 
tnndein lumina tollit (Catullus, 62, 2). gfemiui praevia 
temporis: forerunner of the twilight (cf. dux noctis, v. 878). 

76. Cecfopias ntirlis: daughters of Cecrops, i. e., Athen- 
ian maidens. 

79. maris quod caret oppidum: Sparta. 

80. Aotiins: Boeotian or Theban. 

81. Alpheos: An Arcadian stream. The bride is said 
to outshine the maids of all these regions. 

82.* forma: abl. 

83. Aesonio duel*. Jason. 

84. proles fulminis improbi: Bacchus, referring to the 
tnanner in which Jupiter approached Semele (see CI. Diet., 
artt. Bacchits and Semele, 

86. qui tripodas movet: Phoebus Apollo, who inspired 
the Delphic and other oracles (cf . tt, 785, 786). 

87. virg-iiiis asperae: Diana (cf. saevae vlrginis, Oct 
976, where the epithet applies to her cruelty in requiring 
human sacrifices). Here as^perne may refer to her own aus- 
terity of habit. 

89. Pollux caostibus aptior: cf. Horace, /Sf. 2, 1,26. 
91,92. vincat, superet: surpass, excel. 
93. haec: the bride, constitit: "has taken her place. '^ 
95. cum sole: "with (at) the coming of the sun." 

97. Phoebe: {e long) the moon, iion suo: reflected. 

98. The sense appears to be incomplete liere, and Leo 

60 NoTKs 

suggests two lilies to restore the probable coimectioii, as 

taletn dum iucenv< coiwpicitj en iifbor 

perfudit ftubito purpureus gemxii, 

101. luce nova: abl. time — at dawn, ro^cidns: moist 
with dew after his night watch. 

102. Phasidis horridi: This reading makes P7ia^kit\^ 
refer to the Colchian river, while in the other, PhaMdos hoi- 
ridiSf the adjective agrees with thalarnis and Fhasidos is a 
feminine substantive referring' to Medea herself. Erej^tn-^, 
solittis and trepidtis, like/f?7/a;, modify tu, the implied sub- 
ject of (iorripe {v, 105). 

105. Aeoliam virglnem: Jason's bride, (Jreusa. thus 
designated as a descendant of Aeolus, the son of Hellen 
not Aeolus the niler of the winds, who is mentioned by 
Homer {pd. 10, 1 ff.) and Vergil {Atn. 1, 52 ff.) 

106. The allusion is to the opposition of Medea's fatlier 
to Jason. This time the intended father-in-law is willing;. 

107. iurgio: ct fescennhmify o. 118. 

108. hinc illinc. .mittite earmina: sing responsively, 
as in Catullus 62. 

109. "Rarely is such license granted as against our 

110. "Fair and noble scion of Bacchus." Hymen, the 
god of marriage, is said to have been the son of Bacchus and 
Venus (wine and love), though other accounts are given (see 
CI. Diet., art. Hymen). 

111. multifldam. ..pimim: A note in Allen A: Green - 
ough's Ovid explains muUifidas faces {Met. 7 ,259) as »'light- 
wood split fine." 

113. dicax . . . fescenninus : cf . iriyyictw/esceanintut, Catul- 
lus 61, 126. The "fescennine verses," containing rude ban 
ter {iurgioy ». 107) and coarse jokes, were used in very early 
times by the rustics of central Italy on vari(ms occasions of 
public merry-making, but came later to bo restricted to 
wedding feasts. Verse 113 is spondaic. 

« Notes 61 

114. ilia: Medea. 

115. si qua: equivalent to the relative <^M^f^. 


SiJKNK 1 (vv. 116-178). Medea, hearing the hymenaeus, realizes 
ih it she has actually been deserted, recalls to mind her claims on Ja- 
son and repeats her vow of vengeance. Her aged nurse cautions her 
iigainst speaking so freely, but in vain. 

116. hymeiiaeus: The chant of the marriage procession 
(cf. Catullus 61 and 62). For one account of the corre- 
H|H)nding Koman cry, ♦^Talasio," see Livy 1, 9, 12. 

117. vix adhuc credo; a very natural touch. She had 
known what was preparing and had suffered long and keen- 
ly in anticipation, yet the actual realization of it came upon 
her like a blow. 

118. hoc: explained by its appositive desm^ere {v, 120). 

119. 8olanr. sc. me. 

121. seclere; a word which Medea does not hesitate to 
Hpply to her own acts, e. g. in -cv. 129. 135, 500, 1016 (cf. we- 
fns, /?. 122). 

122. "Does he forsooth believe that my every resource 
«»f evil is exhausted?" Ademie may be regarded here as sim- 
ply a stronger nonne. 

124. queam: subjunctive in impassioned question. 

125. estconiunx: sc. /77/. in bane ferrum exigatur: 
**!nto her let the sword be plunged.'' For the construction 
ef. SeneydjConsolatload Marciani^ 16, 3: Tela quae(FortU' 
tia) in Scipiones. . .exefflt; sdHofei'mvi Kvigam^ v, 1006. 

131. parvus comes: her brother, Absyrtus. For the 
different forms of the story see t>. 473 and note. 

133. Peiiae senis: Jason's uncle, who had deprived him 
of his throne and sent him in search of the golden fleece, 
hoping he would never return. Medea on reaching lolcos 
had shown her power hi restoring to youth the aged father 
of her husband (Ovid, Met. 7, 162293), and the daughters of 
TeliaH dc'sired the same boon for their father. Medea 

62 NoTKs • 

assented, directed tlieui to cut his body into bits and place 
them in a caldron {aeno, v, 66ii), but when this had been 
done refused to i>erform her part. This was her revenge 
for Pelias' wrongs to her husband and the slights put upon 
herself by the daughters. She and Jason were compelled 
to flee in order to escape the vengeance of Pelias' son Acas- 
tus, and came to Corinth. Pelias is referred to frequently 
in this play (e. g. in vv. 201, 257, 475, 522). sparsuni poii- 
to: see v, 478. 

135. nullum scelus irata feci: Of the two ])assions, an- 
ger and love, it was the latter that had prompted t^ll her 

136. movit: sc. sceleni or me 

137. By a sudden turn of thought she is led to seek ex- 
cuses for her lover, alieni. . .factus: brought under an- 
other's direction and control (cf. the more common shi in- 
ris), arbitri: arhltrU^ gen. oi arbitrkun. 

142. nostri. . .meo: This confusion of number in the 
pronoun of the tirst person is quite common, especially in 
colloquial Latin, nostri: objective genitive of nos\ for 
the partitive nostrum is used, muneri. .meo: my gift, 
his life. 

144. genet vicem. .natis: In Euripides {Med, 275) Me- 
dea is ordered to take her children with her into bfinishment. 
Seneca (cf . vc. 284, 541-546) represents her as desiring to do 
so but forbidden by Jason. 

146. petatui*: sc. Creon. 

149. Malea: a promontory at the southeastern extrem- 
ity of the Peloponnesus, flecten.s moras: cf. ojipoiieua 
morwi, v. 35. 

153. referre: repay, take vengeance. 

159. Fortnna fortes metuit: Cf. fortes fortnna incut, 
Pliny, Epist, 6, 16, where it is quoted, perhaps, from the 
fortes fortuna adluvat of Terence (Pliormio 1, 4, 2t>); also 
audentes fortnna iuvat, Yergil, Aeu, 10, 284. 

166. hie: here, in me. 

Notes {]'] 

169. siiit. . .edita: "Xo, though they spring from the 
earth" — slhxding to the terrigenae (cf. rr, 469, 47()), whom 
Jason had vanquished by her aid. 

171. Ham: sc. Medea — "I shall become Medea." Vf. 
Medea nunc sum^ ??. 910. cui sim vides: *'You see to 
whom I am a mother'' — i. e. to none, since mv sons liave 
been taken awav. 


177. cardo strepit: The door of a (Grecian house was 
suspended not on hinges but on pivots {(^arduies), usually of 
wood, whose turning in their sockets was far from noiseless. 
In the comedy the entrance of a character is often heralded 
by some allusion to the creaking of the pivot (e. g. Plautus 
AuL 657; Mil Qlor, 154; Terence, Ad. 264). The verb as a 
rule is erepit or conorepuU, with /oris or ostium as subject. 

SCEME 3 (vv. 179-300). Creon appears, dt'clarlns tluit Mecioa n.ust 
l>e banished at once. I'^he boldly accuses him of ha\ iiijr wronj;t d her. 
and claims that if tliere is guilt anywhere that calls for punishn eiit 
it is Jason's as well as her own. Tlie Icing asserts that his own power 
is endangered by her presence and repeats his order to depjiit :it onco. 
She begs for tiie privilege of saying farewell to her children and KmmI- 
ly gains a rej^plte of a single dny. ' 

179. Aeetae grenus: for Aeeta luffa, as often. 
183, 184. Inem: Medea, g-ener: Jason. 
189. iubete sileat: a post- Augustan usiige for tljo more 
common iupete earn slier e. 

193. Either /M;ioce?i.§ is ironical here, or it is said as a 
general truth — (only) an innocent woman asks, etc. 

194. si iiidicas: "If you are acting as judge, hear the 
case; if as des])ot, utter your commands." The mss. assign 
the whole line to Medea. Leo divides it between Medea 
and Creon, thus making regna^s the **generar' second [)erson, 
and strikes out t. 195, which, however is perfectly in keep- 
ing with the tone of the whole dialogue, and suggests tfie 
retort, bilqiui^ etc., in v. 196. On the whole themanuscrij)t 
reading seems preferable here, and has been restored. 

197. Colehi!?!: dat. qui avexit: Jason. 

199, parte, .altera: without hearing the other side. 


2U<). licet: ^uncesHive, as in r. IfJO. 

201. Pelia: the I-^itin form of Pella^, For the sense of 
the line cf. ^. 1:^3 and note. A ease of atynmet^Mim ad ho- 
rn hie w. 

2<)2. caasae: used in its HotriHn legal sense of a case on 
trial (cf. cv. 242, 262). e^resriae: ironical, 

20*{. **How hard it is to turn from wrath a mind once 
roused, and how kingly one deems it who has laid his grasp 
upon the scepter to go on as he has begun, I learned in my 
roval home." 

208. expuisa. . .deserta; Xotice the asyndeton, which 
js very cumimon in these tragedies (cf. Oct. 176). 

210, avo: cf. v. 28 and note; also o. 512, 

212. Poutns was the name of both a sea {Pfynttts Etiict- 
tin^, the Rla<;k Sea) and a country on its shores. Here the 
connection makes it refer tx) the former (cf. pontum ScytJieiK 
Here, Fur. 1210). a tergo videt: We should say that Col- 
chis was at the head of the Black Sea, but the Romans^ 
looking toward the mouth, thought of it as tr tergo, 

213. niaria dulcewunt: It is said that the water of thin 
sea is "as sweet in many places as that of the rivers which 
How into it." Pliny {N. H. 4, 24)declares that the Danube^ 
(Hister, v^. 585, 768), on account of its swift current, sweet- 
♦^jis the water for fortv miles out. ('f. also Polvbiu»,4,41, 42* 

219. rapida: contains the same root as ervpmi (c 220), 
and suggests the same idea here (cf. riipn.v.forfuna^ Horace. 
i\ 1, 34, 14). 

220. eripuitJ sc. ///-^ 

222. hoc: prodemt, proU</ere. 

225. sol am hoc; serva.sse; cf. oblrL . rtfk^rm, v. 237. 

226, 227. decus. floi*em. praesidia, prolem: the Argo- 

228. meniet: subject of strccisxe. Orpheus: For hij* 
late see v. 625 ff. and note on v. 625. 

231. 8ati Borea: Calais and Zetes (cf. Jf/^/ZAm^ noloti. 
r. <>34), 

NOTKS ()r» 

288 ducem. . .duenm: Jason. 

235. vobis: for you, i. e., all the Greeks, uiiuin iiilhi: 
him alone for myself. 

287. crimen hoc solum: that the Argo has return eel. 
Argo is nom. in apposition to hoc, 

288. The tenses in w, 238-241 suggest the figure of vis- 
ion — she is dwelling upon the scene as if it were before her 
eyes, placeat: suppose it had pleased- -condition. 

240. gfener: Jason. 

244. "All the reward I received for all mv crimes is now 
in your possession." 

245. damna: {a long) impei-ative. 

246. redde crimen: Condemn the accused, if you will. 
but restore the object (Jason) for whit^h the crime was «<>m- 

248. peti; for petii, petim (cf. red ft. i\ 984). 

252 ff. "That 1 am not one who. . . . spurns with haughty 
foot the unfortunate I seem to have shown clearly enough 
in choosing as son-in-law an exile.'* 

256. qnippe: This word, in connection with a relative 
as here, or alone as in v. 438, introduces a clause of caust^ 
or reason. 

257. Aeastus: son and successor of Pelias as king ol 
lolcos {v. 133 and note). The fear in which Jason stood of 
him is expressed in w, 521, 526. 

261. piae: filial (see note on pittas, r. 438). 

262. eansam: cf. v. 202 and not**. 

265. vestro. .a coetu: from companionship with yon 
(and the powers of evil you invoke). 

270. herbas: used in her magic rites. 

271. sollicita: imperative. 

274. nou sola veni: cf. quf amMI /WaU f% 197, and 
redde vomit em^ v» 273. 

276. "For him, not for me, was Pelias slain." Medea 
argues that Jason, who had profited by her crimes, was at 
least equally guilty with heiself. who had done them. She 

jmts it witli still j^reater force to Jason himself {tv. &00, 501 

cf. son tea (iftos, r, 275)4 

277. Add my flight (from home), my plundering (the 
theft (?f the j^olden fleece), my desertion of ttiy father, the 
hiutilation of my brother - the guilt is not mine btit Jason's. 

2H2. IHild here, as often, anticipates a thought still to be 
expressed. Here it is explained by the clause ne. . .trahat* 

287. FoHnna^ .diibia: cf* -p. 219 and note. Jhihia in 
known to be nominative, because its final syllable falls into 
the fourth f(H)t of the senarhts^ Where Seneca never uses a 
K|Hmdee(cf. Horace's statement, A, P. 254-258). The n 
therefore is short. 

28S. nioranii respite. 

29;i, Do you deny me a respite (even one which is) too 
brief for my tears (at parting with my children)? 

290. 'Tis more than enough, though you should strike 
off a p<»rtlon. reeidas: /long. 

299. Istlnno: the abl. of place whence, used without a 
preposition, jis in names of towns. The use is extended 
still f iij-ther in poetry to nouns of almost any meaning (cf« 
ttrtis, r. :J80; peuffffhfts, r. 450). sacl*a thalami: the mar^ 
riage rites. 

Scene :j (W. :;oi-a7l0. The (jliorus siligs the claHngof the Argo-- 
iifiiUs, the(lan.i;4*Ts of the deep, and the changes that have follo\»e<l 
its conquest. 

:301 :308. ( 'f. Horace, C. 1, 8, 9-12. 

'304. After this verse occur two others in the mss., which 
Leo rejects as mere dittography to vi\ 301, 302. Following 
recent editors he inserts re. 329-334 after v* 308. 

339. For the (i olden Age, of which some features are 
given in the following verses, cf. Oet* 896-406,* Vergil, Ech 
4; Ovid, J/f^^ 1, 89-112; Horace, Epod. 16, 41-64; Tibullus, 
1, 3, 33 46. Candida i white, unspotted, pure, 

331. ])iffer: unambitious, content. 

333. pa wo dives: a favorite idea with Horace (cf* (\ 2, 
1C>, 13 n\: r, 2, 18, 11 fit'.; r'. 3, 16, 39 ff., etc.). 


X0TE8 67 

309. sidera: the constellations, by means of whose po- 
sitions the sailor in ancient times determined the points of 
the compass. Their importance to him is manifest from 
the constant allusions in all the poets. 

311. pluvias Hyades: see CI. Diet., art. Hyades, The 
season at which this constellation rose and set with the sun 
was marked by frequent and heavy storms, and the poets 
connected the two circumstances as cause and effect (cf. 
Horace, C. 1, 3, 14; Cicero, N, D, 2, 111). 

313. Oleniae. .caprae: Amalthea, the nurse of the in- 
fant Jove, described now as a beautiful woman (see CI. Diet., 
artt. Aega, Amalthea), now as a she-goat, in each case 
translated to the skies and made a constellation. The sea- 
son when it first became visible was storm v, hence the allu- 
si on in this passage. 

315. planstra: the two bears, major and minor, still 
known in parts of Europe from their form as *'the wagons" 
— for example, "Charles's wain" in England. Being near 
the pole they were objects of great interest to the mariner 
and are referred to constantly in the poets (cf. vv. 405, 696, 
where they are called arctos and ferae). Attica: another 
reading is Arctica, which Leo rejects because, as he sayp, 
''Aretictvs is a word not used by good poets, except those 
writing on astronomy." There are two versions of the myth 
regarding Bootes the Arctophylax. One makes him Areas 
the son of Callisto (cf. Ovid, Met. 2, 401-530), translated to 
heaven, while the other identifies him with Icarius, an Athe- 
nian, father of Erigone. This latter form would justify 
the use of the adjective Attica, transferring the epithet from 
Bootes to the wagon he drives. He is thought of variously 
as driver of the wagon, keeper of the bears (Arctophylax 
— cf. Thyestes 874; Cicero, JST. D. 2, 109), and holder of the 
serpent — the constellation Draco, which winds through space 
near by {Ophliwhits, c. 698; or in Latin Anguitenens, Cicero, 
N. D. 2, 108). tardus: because the constellation, close to 

68 Notes 

the pole, appears almost motionless (cf. 0(;t, 23:J; Ovid. Met. 
2, 176, 177). 

316. nondum. . .liabebaiit: cf. Ovid, Met. 1, 182. 

318. Tiphys: For his fate see v. 617 ff. 

321. prolate . .notos: catch the breeze with yards 
trimmed, tack, sail close to the wind. 

335. bene: modifies dissaepti, not f /-oa^/f — brouglit to- 
gether the lands well (wisely) separated before (cf. Horace 
a 1, 3, 21 ft.), 

336. Thessala: because built and commanded bv Ja- 
son, of the Thessalian town lolcos (cf. ThessaUca trabe, 
Agam, 120). 

338. partem metns: There were terrors enough for man 
before, but his conquest of the sea added new ones. 

339. mare sepositum: (formerly) an element apart. 

340. ilia: the Argo — Thessala pinus, v, SSb. 

342. duo montes: the Symplegades (??. 456; cf. st-iipn- 
los vaganteSf v. 610). 

347. Let slip the the tiller from his nerveless hand. 

349. vocem i)erdidit: referring to the figure-head of 
the Argo, hewn from the speaking oak of Dodona and itself 
possessed of the power of speech. • 

350. Virgo: Scylla (cf. Homer, Od. 12, 73-100,234-259: 
Ovid, Met 14, 1-74; Vergil, Aen. 3, 420-428). 

354. totiens latrante: barking from each of its (six) 
throats, malo: monster. 

355. dirae pestes: the sirens (cf. Homer, Od. 12, 52 ff.). 
357. resonann: sounding bac'l; in contest with the 


360. sirena: ace. "Orpheus almost compelled the si- 
ren to follow, (though) wont to hold captive with her song 
the passing ships." For Orpheus' power see vv. 626-629; 
Ovid, Met 10, 86 ff.; and CI. Diet., art. Orpheus. The allit- 
eration in vv, 359-362 may be accidental, yet it is by no 
means uncommon in these tragedies. 

363. merees: appositive to peUis and Medea —"wares 

Notes 09 

Worthy the first ship." The idea that a sin was committed 
in crossing the sea and so overstepping the bounds appoint- 
ed by the Creator (cf. v, 335 ard note) is still present here, 
with the further implication that the sin has brought about 
its own punishment. Mei^ces reminds us that among the 
ancients the trader was the principal voyager, and that the 
myth of the Argo and the golden fleece may represent alle- 
gorically the beginning of commerce for the Greeks. 

364. nunc lam: ^ww^ transferring the thought from the 
Argo's time to that of the chorus, and perhaps in the poet's 
mind to his own day, when commerce had attained such 
great proi)ortions. 

365. Palladia; see r. 2 and note. Here ablative. 
J^9. motns: sc. est 

372. orbin: cf. orhi^ v. 5 and note. 

375-379. This remarkable prophecy would be all the 
more remarkable if we could suppose that Seneca meant by 
it anything more than a vague reference to some ideal At- 
lantis, such as Plato had described. 


SCESK 1 ( vv. :J80-a90). The nui'se deserilxjs the tioic passion of Me- 
dea, as shown by her features and gait. 

380. tectis: cf. Isthmo, v, 299 and note. 

381. resist-e: intransitive — **Pause." 

383. niaenas: The maeiiades {bawhantes, thyicules) 
were the female priests of Bacchus, famed for their wild or- 
gies. In u. 806 Medea applies the term to herself. 

384. Nysae: a city in India, where, according to one 
account Bacchus was reared. One of his (Ireek names (Dio- 
nysus) hivs been supposed to be a derivative of this word. 

393. facile: adjective. 

394. vineet: outdo, veteris: as displayed in the cases 
of her brother Absyrtus and her uncle Pelias. 

Scene '2 (vv. TO7-4^J0). Medea jrives expw^sslon to her contempt for 

70 Notes 

Jason's cowardice In truckling to those in power, reiterates her pur- 
pose of revenge, and overrides the nurse's timid protest. 

397. odio: dat. misera: addressing herself, queiii: 

398. imitare amorem: Copy your love, which acknow- 
ledged no limitation, but sacrificed all to itself, faces : 
torches carried in the marriage procession, hence marriage 
— here that of the princess Creusa to Jason. 

401. From the old idea that the earth is a circular plain 
surrounded by the ocean, philosophers had advanced by 
this time to the conception of a universe in three dimen- 
sions, of which the central body was the earth, poised in 
space (cf. Ovid, Met. 1, 12, 13: [tier-] circ^nufnao 2>emlehat 
in aere tellus \ potideribus lihrata siiis). 

403. derit : deerit (cf . derat, v. 992). 

404. siccas: never setting (lit., dry). The arctoe (urm 
major and ursa minor — see v. 315 and note) at the latitude 
of Greece and Rome, as at our own, ^ere always above the 
horizon — did not dip into the surrounding ocean as constel- 
lations farther from the pole were thought to do (cf . vetitum 
mare, v, 758; vetito aeqtf/)re^ Ovid, Met. 2, 172; immimix 
aquis, Agam. 69; numqnam ociddentes^ Cicero, N. D. 2, 105.) 

410. Titana: ace. Enceladus, who was buried alive be- 
neath Mt. Aetna (Vergil, Aen. 3, 578-582). Ovid {Met. 5, 
352) follows Aeschylus in making it Typhoeus who was 
punished thus. The myths of the Titans and the Giants 
are greatly confused. 

413. impetnm irasque: hendiadys. 

415. Thessalici duels: Acastus (cf. v. 257), who had 
demanded that Medea be given up for punishment for the 
murder of his father. 

417. cesserit.. .dederit: suppose he has — cf. phif-entj 
V. 238. 

418. coniugem: Medea. 

419. ferox: ironical, and rendered intensely emphatic 

Notes 71 

both by its unusual jx)sition and by its antithesis to e.rti- 

4t2rl. lion que ror; Note the sudden change of tone. '*l 
do not complain that the time is (too) short. It will go far." 

424. imllns: sc. dies. 

428. pereas: The "general" second person. 

Scene 3 (vv. 481-578) Jason enters, lamenting bis liard fsitv', 
wh!ch places him in such a dilemma that he must either be faithless 
to Medea or forfeit his life. Medea bids him flte with her, i-ecounts 
her services and sacrifices in his behalf, declaies him equally guilty 
with I erself of all she had done for his salce, and, when he confess s 
his fear of tlie king and leaves her, slie breaks forth into a torrent of 
passionate wordp, and begins preparation at once for the consumniur 
tlon of lier revenge. 

432. malam: agrees with sortem — "Evil alike when it 
smites and when it spares." 
434. Mem praestare: show fidelity, i. e., be faithful. 

437. misero: sc. mihi — apparent agent. 

438. pietas: reverent affection, commonly that of a 
child for his parents, here of a father for his children. In 
c. 779 piae is said of Althaea's affection for her brother; in 
Oct. 52 and 737 it stands for the nurse's love for her foster 
child and in Oct. 844 for the prefect's devotion to his impe- 
rial master. See also vo. 5i5, 943. quippe: causal as 
in V. 256, but here unaccompanied by another connective. 
seqiieretur: lit. follow, hence share. 

441. ipsam: Medea— so uatam^ v. 444. 

444. anhnus: sc. 7neus. 

445. viso memet: abl. abs. — at sight of me. 

446. fert. .prae se: displays, exhibits, odia: plural 
of an abstract noun, where we should use the singular. 

447. fugimuH, lasoiu fugimus: "We have fled, we are 
fleeing (or going to flee)." The first fug imtis (with u long) 
is perfect, the second {ti short) is present. As Leo remarks, 
•Seneca did not admit the tribrach at the beginning of the 
senatius, hoc: explained by its appositive, //^^/f^/i.^^- 

I •: 

2 Notes 

4.")0. peiiatibits: abl., like Isthmo (r. 299) and teidts 

451. at quo: Mss. have ad qtios. Supply me as object 
of te/nittis. The question is repeated in v, 459. 

453. quis pet! terras lubes: (cf. Euripides, Med. 502 
If.). This is the sentence quoted by Quintilian {liutt. Oral, 
9, 2, 8) to illustrate one use of the rhetorical question^ 
which he says is used, **. . . .To thiffw odium on the i>erson 
addressed; as Medea says in Seneca, ^Qaaspeti terras Inbe.sf " 
This is one of the few bits of external evidence we have of 
the authorship of the play. 

45t>. adulternm: lover,*?: e.,jSjkson. 

457. Tenipe: {e long) a^Greet ace. plural. 

458. ^perni tibi . . .clau^ mihi: a good exani}>le of the 
antithesis in which Seneca delights. 

459. imperas hoc das: *brick8 without straw." 

462. paelieeni: a favorite word in the speech of Sene- 
ca's heroines (cf. r. 495, A^nu 185, Oct. 124, 185, etc.). Here 
and in r. 495 Medea applie^Tl with i^athetic irony to her- 
self, but usually it is taken ay a term of reproach to a rival, 
as in r. 920. 

469. hostis subiti : the terrlgemie, warriors who sprang 
into life full armed when Jason had sown the dragon's 

470. miles: singular for plural (cf. mlllte, Vergil, Aen. 
2, 20). (K'cidit: fell, perished. 

471. spolia !*hrixei arietis: the golden fleece {aurea 
pell Is, r. 861), whose recovery was the object of the argo- 
nautic expedition. It was Phrixus who was carried on the 
ram's back to Colchis (see CI. Diet., artt. Phrixus, Helle). 

47:}. moH'itrum: the sleepless dragon which guarded 
the fleece in Colchis. It was drugged by Medea (Ovid, Met, 
7, 149 156), who thus made it possible for her lover to gain 
possession of the prize, fratrem: Absyrtus. Two ac- 
ccmnts of his fate are given, one that he was sent by his 
father with a fleet to overtake and bring back his sister. 


and lost his life either in fair fight with the Argimauts or 
by treachery (Hyginus, Fab, 23); and the other, more com- 
mon and adopted by Seneca (cf. ?rr. 13.3, 278, 9t)3), that 
being still a boy he was carried away by Medea in her ttiglit, 
and when their father was about to overtake them, was cut 
in pieces and his limbs thrown into the sea <»ne by one in 
order to delay the pursuit. 

474. Guilt incurred not once (but more than once) iii 
one act of guilt— i. e., not merely was the brother slain, but 
his bo^y was mutilated, and, to crown all, was cast un bur- 
ied into the sea (cf . Vergil, Aen. 6, 32'> -330). 

475. natas: scPelia- (or Peliae). See r. 133 and note. 
479. monstra: the fire-breathing bulls, the tpirlifennt- 

{v, 470), the guardian serpent {v. 473). 

481. coning! : gen. of coniuglum. 

482. miserere: used absolutely -have pity. folix: 
kindly, redde . . vicem : reciprocate. 

483. Scythae: Here and in v. 528 Medea calls her peo- 
ple Scythians. This was a rather vague term ajiplied by the 
ancients to the inhabitants of (/cntral Asia and what is now 
the southern part of Russia. The Colchians have been de- 
scribed variously as a colony of Egyptians (Herodotus), of 
Jews, of Syrians and of Hindoos. Being on the borders of 
Scythia they may be spoken of carelessly as belonging t<» 
that race. 

485. quas: et eas—^Wiid^ as the palace, filled with trea- 
sure, could hardly contain these riches (opibus), we adorned 
the woods with gold." 

489. redde... sua: The possessive here relates to the 
thought-subject (not the grammatical subject) of the ^v\\- 
tence (cf, sunt hie »iia2>vaemia Imuli, Vergii J Aen, 1, 461). 
For the idea cf . Medea's demands of Creon in vc. 197, 272, 273. 

490. The truth of this pitiful plea of Jason's is c(»nfii med 
by Creon's statement {v. 184). 

492. poenam pntabam: ^c./uf/am. Note the antithesis 
between poenam and munnsy and the strong irony of the 


hitter. <'t'. (Jvid's expression, poenam pro miin&re posciH 
{Met. 2, 99). 

496. olicit: throw up as a reproachful reminder. 

503. tua. . .fecit: ef. m 275, 276, 278. 
501. ar^nant: cf . ^/awaf, r. 238, and note. 
508. tibi: in your sight. 

504. cuius acceptae : the construction of noun and pas- 
sive participle met in the familiar ah twbe condita of Livy. 
Here we may translate, **which one is ashamed of having 
(so) received." 

507. placare; imperative. 

512. Phoebi: cf. v. 28 and note. Sisyphi: The royal 
house of Corinth was descended from Sisyphus, whose ances- 
try ran back through Aeolus, Hellen, Deucalion and Prome- 
theus to lapetus, one of the original Titans. Compared 
with the divine progeny of Phoebus his offspring would be 
^'foecW {v. 511). 

517. uos...8ine: The reading here is corrupt and the 
sense obscure. Perhaps the most satisfactory solution is 
found in making certemti^ subordinate to trine and coiifli- 
if ere complementary to Gertemti^: **Let me (us) strive to 
contend (with the king) ; let the prize be Jason." Leo places 
a period after confligere. 

528. caede coguata: Acastus and Jason were cousins. 

529. ne cupias vide: "Is fear the real motive of your ac- 
tion, or is it ambition?" 

534. deligenti. . .istum: that discriminates between us. 

545. pietas: cf. v, 438 and note, memet: Cogat here 
has two objects, memet representing the person and the nt 
clause the act required. It is a rare construction, two ac- 
cusatives, or ace. of person and infinitive representing the 
act, being more common. 

547. perusti: seared. In v. 484: 2)€rti at Ls had its more 
literal sense of sun-burned, swarthy. 
550. teuetuv: I have a hold upon him. Sic... locus: 

NoTKs 75 

aside. For the thought implied ef. r. 26 aiul note; see also 
Kuripides, Med, 813. 

551. abeuiitem: agrees here with the subject {me) of 
the infinitive. Instead of this the following constructions 
might have been used after Hceat: (1) ahefinH Joqvi (most 
common), (2) nt ablenji loquar, (3) abiens loqnrtr, or (4) sim- 
ply the infinitive, as in v. 542. 

555. melioris. . .nostri: mv better self. 

556. haec: sc. verba. 

559. niiuerias lenit quiejs: With this philosophical re- 
mark Jason leaves the stage. 

560. itane est: For the spirit of the speaker see p. 117 
and note. 

562. ajfe: addressing herself. 

565. hac. . .timere: Attack at a i)oint where none can 
conceive of danger- alluding again (cf. v. 26 and note) to 
the inhuman purpose gradually maturing in her mind. 

571. pigfinis. . .ffoiierls: an earnest of his descent (cf. 
the pignoia demanded by Fhaethon, Ovid, Met. 2, 8). 

575. nati: sc. met (nofitri). nubenti: the bride, who 
was said by the Romans to rei/ herself for her husband. 

578. arae: in preparation for her invocation of the 
powers of darkness (r. 740 fP.). 

.Scene 4 (w. .'>79-fl«9). Tlie chorus likens woman's fury in the fierc- 
»'st forces of nature, then recalls the fate of .)ason's fellow-voyugers 
and prays that the gi)ds niiiy i'onslder their jmnlshment enough «nd 
spare him. 

ttt9-n^2. "Heaven hjis no rage like love to hatre<i turned 
Nor Hell a fury like a Woman S4*orned." 

51K). Haennis: a mountain range on the north of 
Thrace, believed by the ancients to be of amazing height 
(cf. Fliny, N. II. 4, 18). The thawing in spring of the deep 
snows which had fallen thr<mgh the winter would produce 
for rustic on-lookers In the distance very much the same 
effect as if the range itself were melting {fffbint) away. 

.>1)6. urai'c qui siibeirlt: .Jason. 

7i\ SoTKi^ 

.V.>7. viiH-l: the subject is reyna. (loniiiiiis pl'oflindii 
X<'j)tune (cf. innfnmfi . . .thnnuiator maris^ i\ 4). 

'VJS. iTiuiia sH'iinda : the sea (cf. se(iindo mnria sctpi ro 
I'f'ilis^ lit IV. Fur, oHD; secniulvm fluctihvs regnum moveh% 
PtidHlni 904). On the dethronement of Kronos (Saturn) by 
his sons the latter cast lots for the several portions of hi» 
(l()inini<»ns (Homer, //. 15,184 ff). Jupiter thus received 
the heavens, Neptune the second choice, the sea, and Pluto 
the tliird (cf. ftrfiftt sortt's, J fere Fur. 609, 833), the unseen 
land of the dead. 

599. currus: of the sun-god (Ovid, Met 2, 107 110), 
<)<M). invenis: Phaethon (see Ovid, Met. 2, 1 828). 
<)04. popiilo priori: former generations. 

{>(}'). sacro. . .sancta: sdcroHfuivta, divided by tt)iesis\ 
'V\w sense is inriolnJile^ immutable. violente: voc, best- 
translated by an Knglish adverb. 

<)00. foedera: laws of nature. For the sentiment ef* 
nere. . . mittirae jmllae foednn^ Ovid, Met. 10, 353. The par- 
ticular law referred to here is that by which the gods were 
su[)posed to liave confined man's sphere of concpiest to the 
land and forbidden him the sea (cf. i\ 335 and note; Horace, 
<\ 1, 3, 21 ft'.), in re. 607-667 is given an account of the 
fate that befell several argonautic heroes. 

610. scopulos vaiTHHtes: the Synn)legades (cf. r. 342 
and note: c. 456). 

612. Imrhara. . .ora: Colchis* ' 

613. exteriii. . .auri; foreign gold the tieece. 

614. exitu: abl. means, with piacit h\ a dreadful end, 

617. in priniis; may be taken literally — among the tirst 
(in time) -or as the ])hrase imprimis, especially. Tiphys 
lost his life before the Argo reached Colchis and was suc- 
ceeded at the helm by Krginus {indocto magibtroj r. 619), or, 
according to some accounts, by Ancaeus, a son of Xeptune, 

<»22. Aulis. . .retinet carinas: This allusion suggests 


the idea that the fleet for the expedition ajjjainst Troy had 
gathered in the interval since the Arj^o^s return, iis it was 
at Aulis that Agamemnon was detained h\ nnfavora))le 
winds until he consented to sacrhice his daughter to Diana. 
Tiphys was a native of Boeotia, and it is intinuited here that 
the Boeotian port Aulis, admonishVd by his fate of the ])er- 
ils of the sea, was trying to detain others who woukl ven- 
ture forth. The question of chronology need not trouble us. 
as there is proj)erly no chronology of this mythical period. 

624. stare quereutes: lamenting that they are not al- 
lowed to sail. 

625. ille: Orpheus, who is said to have been the son of 
Apollo and the muse {vameua) ('allioj)e. The instances 
given here of his power to charm inanimate objects with his 
lyre are the familiar ones usually given. Ovid {Md. 10, 1 
77) tells the story of his ])assion for Eurydice and his descent 
into Hades to rescue her from death. It is said further that 
the women of Thrace, incensed at the bard's devotion to tl c 
memory of his lost wife, and consecpient neglect of them- 
selves, tore him in pieces (hence sj>arstis, .jxr (ff/ros). The 
head (r. 681) floated down the Hebrus river and across the sea 
to Lesbos (Ovid, Met. 11, 1 -<>()), thus transferring the power 
t)f lyric song to that island, where Alcaeus and Sa])})ho, 
the first Ivrists known to classic historv. afterward lived 
and sang. 

631. tristi: saddened bv the burden it bore. 

632. not am: because he had crossed it before, in his 
<iuest of Eurydice (cf. Ovid, Mol. 11, 61 qiuie locn rhii^rat 

634. Ah'ides: Hercules. Episodes in his career furnish 
the theme (d* two of the Senecan tragedies Ueiu-tihs Fnreiis 
and Hen-nles (htaeiist. Aquihme uatos: Calais and Zetes, 
the Horeades, called in i\ 231 mtl liornt. Thev were among 
the numerous victims of Hercules' ])rowess. 

635. Xej)tinio ironitnm: Periclymenus (Ovid. Met. 12, 
556 572). 

78 Notes 

637. paceiii: conquest —peace by subjugation. 

640. Cf. w. Ill, lis. The tragedy Hercules Oetaeus 
deals with this theme. 

641. ^emiiii cruoris: the blood of the centaur Nessus, 
who was of two-fold nature, half man, half horse. 

642. iiuptae: Deianird (see CI. Diet., artt. Heicnles and 
Deianim, and cf. Ovid, Met 9, 141-272). 

644. saetigrer: the Galydonian boar (see V\. Diet., artt. 
Ancaeus, Atalanta, etc.). 

645. impiu8: because a breach of filial reverence is in- 
volved i^QQ pietas, V, 438, and note), moreris: from mo- 
rior, dextra matris: See CI. Diet., artt. ^/f/fr^m, MeJeaget- 
(cf. m. 779, 780; Ovid, Met. 8, 445-525). 

646. meruere . . . expiavit : a confusion of two thoughts. 
It might be expressed either (1) meruere cimctipoitiam (mor' 
tern) qua crimen expiavit, or (2) commisere cuncti mortf- 
quod crimen expiatit. In either case the thought is that 
having ventured upon the treacherous and forbidden elenien t 
all deserved the fate that had befallen Hylas, i. e. drowning. 

648. puer: Hylas (see CI. Diet.). 

649. tutas: Hvlas was lost not on the storm v ocean but 
in the quiet waters of a spring, where no one would look 
for danger. 

651. fonte timendo: abl. abs. of cause Suice it is the 
spring that is to be feared, go, plow the ocean fearlessly 

656. ille: Mopsus, the seer. 

659. Nauplitts: There are three of this name in the old 
mythology. Seneca here identifies tlie Argonaut with an- 
other of the name, the father of Palamedes, who was in- 
censed at the treatment his son had received from the (yreeks 
and sought revenge by luring their returning fleet upon the 
rocks by means of a false beacon {igne faJlaci). He is said 
to have met a like fate later, himself. See also the account 
given by the courier Eurybates in Ayam. 558-570, where 
the expression perflda face is used. 

660. Peiper noticed that in order to preserve the Sappine 
strophe a half-line must besui)plied, and Leo suggests oal- 
det proles. The passage is not clear, but the best j)unctua- 
tion appears tp be that given in the text, vvhicli makes 
Oileus the subject of _pe?i(7e#, the father's name being used 
here to designate the son, Ajax (cf. i\ 662 and note). 

661. It was Ajax, the son of Oileus, who perished on his 
voyage homeward from Troy /«/w//if' tt ponto (see Atjam. 
528-556; Aeu. 1, 43 ff.; Homer, Od. 4, 449 ff.). Our author 
here intimates that the real reason for his destruction was 
his father's offense in having sailed in the Argo (pafn'o 
jteridet erimine poenas). 

662. eouing'is Pheraei: Admetus, king of Pherae, 
whose wife Alcestis voluntarily gave u}) her life to save his 
{impeiidens animam martto), and thus |)erhaps uncon- 
sciously hel|>ed atone for the sin of her father, Pelias, wlio 
had Instigated the expedition of the Argo (rr. 664 f)6.''>). 
This reading makes uxor a second subject of jnudti. 

664. ipse. . .Pelias: see v, 133 ajid note. 
667. aiignstas. . .uudas: not amid the mighty waves of 
<»cean but the babblings of a caldron a most unheroic fate. 

669. The chorus closes with an appeal to the angry gods 
to be satisfied with the fate of those who had fallen alreadv 


and spare their leader Jason, who, being under command 
(f'tfsso) of another (Pelias), was not guilty liin^seif, 


i^CENE 1 (vv. (S70-739). Theuurseiiia 1)1()I1()1o*j:iu' (UscrllKs Mtnliu's 
jiutliering of deadly plants and animti Is from lu*;iv<'n :in(l tsirtli ami 
lioll, and lit'i" use of the maj;lc ail in pivpnrinj; a (U'<*t«'tlon of their 

670. Scan thus: Pac^t a \ nimns hnr ret mat/ , }*(( 
per I nicries \ adest. The tirst and the tifth feet are tri- 
brachs, the second an anapest (most imusual in Seneca ). 

671. ininniiie quantum ausjescit: how fearfully grows. 

80 Notes 

678. fureiiteiii: sc. Medea m\ so witli a(j(jress<nn and 

674. caelum tralioiitoui: cf. te (Ltntain) tmho, Ovid, 
Met. 7, 207. 

675. attouito: bewildered. The incantations for which 
l)reparation was ordered to be nr.ide in vt\ 577, 578 are de- 
scribed in this scene. 

676. peiietrale fiinestuiii: the shrine (cf. f^nv/^ r. 578). 

677. totas opes eff'iuidit: is lavishing all her powers. 
Notice that all the principal verbs in th.e sentence {eff nudity 
firomit^ €X2)limf, vocat) are present. The nurse is looking 
on and describing what she sees. 

678. etiam ipsa: There were powers which even Medea 
had shrunk from invoking before, but in this suj)reme mo- 
ment fears and scruples alike are swallowed up in her all- 
absorbing thirst for vengeance. 

680. laeva: with the left hand, as ill-cmiened. 

682, 688. Libyae. Taurus: extremes of climate. Me- 
dea's power ranged over them all. 

687. exertat: ej-sertat, quaerit: sc. eos. 

693. fraudo vulu:ari: such arts as the common herd 
can use. 

695. ang*uis: the constellation Draco (see v. 815 and 
note, and cf. Aratus as translated by CHcero, N. I). 2, 106 
Has [^arctos] inter, nelutl raj) f do c^ttn (janjite flu men, tor- 
rtis Draco serpit). 

696. ferae: the aretoe. 

697. The constellation ?/j>y/ majftr was known to the 
(Greeks in Homer's time (cf. //. 18, 487; Od. 5, 275), while 
the tirsa minor, though long known to the l^hoenicians, was 
not pointed out to the Greeks till the time of Thales. 

698. sol vat Ophiuchus: let the seri)ent-holder relax his 
close grip — i. e., release the serpent. For ophhiehas, see r. 
815 and note. 

699. virus: ace. 

700. ausus: which dared. j>-emiiia numina: Apoll(> 

XoTE8 81 

unci Biaiia. Only the former is usually described as the 
slayer of the python, and the oracle at Delphi, where the 
encounter took place, was sacred to him alone. Cf. the ex- 
tension of the epithet tonantihufi to Juno in v, 59. 

702. caede. . .sua: When one of the hydra's nine heads 
was lopped off, two grew up in its place. 

703. tu . . . serpens : the sleepless dragon (cf . insomne 
monstrum, v. 473, and note) which guarded the golden fleece 
In Colchis. It was made to sleep for the first time {primitm) 
by Medea's sorcery (hence sosplte . .cantihus. .meis). ados: 

706. frugis: To the poison of serpents she now adds 
the juices of poisonous plants. 

707. Eryx: the well-known mountain in Sicily, site of 
the tem})le of Venus Erycina. 

711. divites: an epithet fre<iuently applied to the Arabs 
by Koman ])oets, without very rational grounds (cf. Horace, 
( \ 3, 24, 2; Epis't. 1, 6, 0, etc.). liuuut : smear, here poison. 

713. Suebae: fern., as if those who dealt in witchcraft 
and poisons would naturally be women. Hercyniis: This 
reading is more consistent with Sueh((e than is Hyrcaniis^ 
though it is inaccurate to speak of the Suevi, who lived far- 
ther toward the north, as gathering herbs in the Hercynian 
forest. Hyrcania lay to the east of the Caspian sea. 

725. iifenimifer: The diamonds of India were known at 
i\ very early day, and their fame reached the western world, 
but in a vague and fabulous form (cf. Horace, C, 1, 22, 7, 
fahvlostfs Hydaspts). Claudian, writing in the fourth cen- 
tury of our era, si)oke of the ffemmis Hydaspeis {de III 
i 'onsnUitn Honor il^ 4). 

726. nonien. . .dedit: The prorl inf(t Baetica receixed 
its name from the stream. 

727. Hesperia: a general term for western— in the 
direction of Jl&sppnts^ the evening star. To the Greeks it 
sometimes meant Italian (cf. Vergil, Afn. 1, 530). Here 


ami oitk*i\ to the Homaiis it meant ^^panish (cf. Horace, <''. 

1 , My. 4). 

728, 720. Not only the location but also the time when 
it coiiUl l>est be j^athered was considered. 

7;U IT. (7. the witches' song over the caldron in Mao 
hfth. Act :{, scene 4, rt. \:]S. 

TM. serpoiitiuiii: the regular form of the gen. plu. In 
r. Hi)oserpentfnn is written for metrical reasons (cf. Vergil, 
.U'ii. 12, 848). 

7.'U. s(*eleruui artifex: Medea (cf. v. 121). 

l''\'}. discrota jmnit: separates, distinguishes. 

7M. verba: magic incantations. 

7^{8. gfradu: t<me (cf. fib ima [coce] ad mimmnm niuffi 
Hunt f/rafht^', Quintilian, 1 .0. 11, 3, 15). 

7.'U>. iinnidiis tremit: nature shuddered. 

J^CKNE :i (vv. 740-S48). Medeu invokes the aid of the infernal gods, 
tlu' sliadt's of tlie wicliecl dead, and Hecate, patron of magic, in a rhap- 
sody of sustained intensity: and expresses her assurance and satis- 
fa 'tion that lu»r prayer is answered. 

740 848. In this long si)eech of Medea (rather a canti- 
mm than a speech) the depth of her emotion and its vary- 
ing nature are seen in the repeated changes of measure (see 
Introduction, p. 8). 

74:?. snpplicis: for xftjfpHciis, abl. abs. with remUtsi^. 
The lines following give details. thalanios iiovos; of 
Jason and Creusa (for a i)ossible sense of noros cf. v, 894 
and note). 

745. Pireuidas: ace. plural of PireviKf adjective from 
Ph'Hn,, the name of a famous fountain at Corinth. Tanta- 
lus is variously described as having been king of Lydia, of 
Phrygia, of Argos and of Corinth. Our autiior evidently 
adopts the last version here. His crime and its punish- 
ment are referred to constantlv bv classical writers as well 
known (e. g.. Horace, .S\ 1. 1. t>8; Ovid. Met, 4, 457: Cicero, 
ih Fhi. 1,18: Homer, Or/. 11, .581). See also Oct. 621 ff. and 
77*//. 4 12, where these same characters (Ixion, Tantalus, 

XoTKs 8:J 

Sisyphus) and their tonneiits are nientkmed in much the 
same way. 

746. socero: (!reon, who, as another king of Corinth, 
is named in connection with Tantalus. 

749. Vestras. . niaiius: The Danaides had slain their 
husbands, and the crime which Medea contemplated was 
Worthy of them. 

750. vocata. . .veui: The participle agrees with tu, the 
subject of venU and is feminine because luna (Phoebe, Dia- 
na, Hecate), not sidus^ is the thought-antecedent of tu\ in- 
fin fa and minax, ?*: 751, have tlie same agreement, sidns: 
in apposition to tif. 

751. froute noii una: cf. trifonnh^ t\ 7, and note. 

752. Having finished the solemn invocation Medea re- 
counts some of the wonders she has wrought by the aid of 
these powers, more gentis: with solvefw. 

753. nudo...pede: ci. mida pedem^Owidi^ Met. 7, 18'3. 

758. et 8olem et astra: i. e^ at the same time, veti- 
tum. tetigistis: cf. v. 404 and note. 

759. temporuui. t vices: the seasons. I have caused 
spring flowers to bloom in summer and grain to ripen in 
winter, and water to flow up hill. 

763. Hister: the Danube in its lower course, tot ora: 
cf. Tacitus, Qer. 1, 3; Pliny, N, //. 4, 24. 
, 768. ill medio: in mid-heaven. 

769. Hyades: taken as a representative constellation i 
labant: faltered in their course. 

77L tibi: for thee, i. e., for Phoebe, cruentat abL 

772. noveua. . .ligat: each bound with nine serpent- 
coils. J^ovena is nom. sing., agreeing with sei'pens; quae is 
Hcc. plur. 

773. discorst rebellious. TVphoeus: one of the gl- 
f/rrutes- (cf. v. 410 and note). 

775. Vectoris: Xessus the centaur, who served as fer- 
r\ man at the river Evenus. 
777» Cf. IT<}'(\ Get 725 f\\ 


779. facem: the tire-brand on whose preservation Me- 
leager's life depended. There may be a deeper meaning 
too in placing in the mouth of Medea, who was about to 
slay her children, this mention of Althaea, who had caused 
the death of her son. 

782. dum..fiiirit: cf. Ovid, Met. 7, 2 4; Vergil. Aen. 
,% 211-213. 

785. tripodas: {(f short) ace. plu. of the Greek tri}nis. 

787-842. Here follows a rhapsody in anapests, whose 
tone fairly entitles the speaker to the epithet maenw*< used 
by herself in v. 809 and applied to her by the chorus in r. 
849. It is addressed to Hecate. 

787. Triviae: Hecate, so called because her shrines 
were frequently placed at points where three roads met. 

790. lurida: nom. luaesta: abl. Thessalicis minis: 
An eclipse of sun or moon was a cause of great terror in 
ancient times, and when one occurred attempts were made 
to avert the catastrophe by the beating of drums and the 
blowing of trumpets (cf. Tacitus, Ann. 1, 28. 3). 

791. caeluui. .legit: glides through the vault of heaven 
{cf.pontum legit, Vergil, Aen. 2, 207). 

793. pallida: nom. 

796. pvetiosa. . .aera: The bronze vases and statues 
made at Corinth were proverbially fine and valuable. Here 
the word seems to mean musical instrimients of bronzei 

797. caespite: altar of turf. 

806. maenas: appositive to the subject of fen'am (see 
V. 787 and note; also v. 849). sacro: with enltro. 

807. manet: {a long) from manare, not nianere. 

809. caros. . .cruoreH: another intimation of her pur- 
pose (cf. m\ 26 and note, 550, 848). She calls upon the 
sword to taste her own blood {cf.feriain hracchia, r. 806), 
that it may not hesitate when called upon to drink the same 
from the veins of her sons. 

810. sacrum laticeni: her own blood — fulfilment of 
the promise xwferhnii, v. 806. 

813. igfiiosee; sc. mihiy or take a I s >Iiitel\ . 

814. Porsei: {e long, i short) voc. Hecate is s<» called 
as being the danghter of rerees and granddaughter of IVr- 
sa and Sol (cf. Statins, Theb. 4, 482: also I'nsehl s fHihn, 
Ovid, Eevi. Amoris^ 263). 

820. auro: of her gift to the bride. 

820830. The poison she is concoctinj; is described in its 
<'trect as if it were liquid lire, and tlien tiie mythical sonrcts 
of tire are ennmerated. 

822. furta: the stealing of fire from heavdi for n^aii. 
viscero feto: A similar account is given bv Vergil {Ant. 
r», .>95 600) of the punishment of the giant Titvos in Hades. 
\'ergirs.^6/*/.v renatln compares well with r/.s^yyv- /V^; here. 

823. condero: store up as here in the golden ornament 
(cf. t'f/iidita. r. 835). 

827. cog'nato: Phaethon was you and Me('ea grar.d- 
<laughter of the sun-god. 

831. taeituui: latent. 

835 ft", visiis. t-Hctus: ace. artus: nom. 

84' >. latratus: Hecate was represjiited s<Mnetinn's us 
having three heads (cf. ^/"//V///// /.v. r. 7. and (speciallv //•/- 
r{j>s\ ()vid. Met. 7, 194), one of a horse, one of a lion, one of 
21 dog: and more often as merely attended l)y dogs, whose 
barking announced her approach (4*f. A'ergil. Af^tt. r». 257). 

843 tT. The frenzy of her inspiration is gone, and there 
remains only the sullen determination to cornplete her ven- 

84<>. pla<*ate: win. 

848. ultimo: To her hearers the word would have its 
ordinary sense. t<> herself another, far deeper. 

SCKNK 3 vV». 849 NTS). TluM'lHirus (U'snilMs iIm- frin/y of M«'<U':j, 
jrivt'S uIUm'Jiih ♦» to itsdivtul of hci- ixiwcr. and i)r!iys for th*' siwrdv 
<'oiDfn}r of niirlit. 

S+i». cnieiita: nom. The sense may be literally blood- 
stained (cf. /•/*. 8(M) Sit)), or it may refer to her past crimes 
the murder (»f brother and uncle. 


850. amove saovo: her passion for Jason. 

854. rig'et: is set. 

856. Does not stand on the defensive, but dares attack, 

857. Sc. earn esse. 

858-865. Tiie chorus observes Medea's intense emotion, 
evinced by change of coh)rand uncertain gait (cf. nr. 882 

866, 867. Cf. Medea's own expressi(m, rr. '-Y,)', .'J*»S. 

871. Colchis: iiom., referring to Medea. 

874. Drive swiftly the sun-chariot. Medea's reprieve 
was to end with the day, hence the prayer that night might 
come quickly. 

876. alma: The epithet commonly applied to f//V.v, .vo/, 
Iffx and words of kindred sense here is given to y/o.r. 

878. dux iioctis: cf. f/enuHt prafria f(inj)or('s^ r. 71. 

ACT y 

Scene 1 (w. 871>-H!M)). A messenjror luiriatts the destriu'tion of 
( reoii and his daughter by the unqueiichjibU* fire kindled by Mi'dea's 
deadly gift. The chorus acts as interlocutor. 

884. qiiis cladi^ modus: Mss. assign this ([uestion to 
the chorus. Modus may mean either manner or measure, 
probably the latter here (cf. omnem, tofa, tuhi fhnetiir). 

890. praesidia: the citadel. Acrocorinthus. 

ScEME 3 (vv. 891. 892). The nurse urges Medea to fly for her lifr. 

891. Peloi)ea: Pelops was the son of Tan talus (cf. v.l\') 
and note), and became king of IMsa in Elis. From his name 
the whole southern peninsula of Greece came to be called 
Pelops' island, Pelopovnesn^. Here the adjective is applied 
to Corinth either as the home of his father ( r. 745 and note) 
or in the sense merely of Grecian (cf. Vergil, Ae)). 2, 19'{). 

Scene 3 (vv. 89:^-977). Medea exults In the success of her plans thus 
far, recalls with satisfaction her past deeds of crime, wavers in her 
purpose to destroy Iier sons, decides upon it, Ijeliolds tlie apparition of 
her murdered brother and finally ascends to llie house-l<ip to carry 
out the rest of her design. 


893. eg'oiie ut recedaiii: a common form nf expression 
when the question (generally rhetorical) is rei(arding some 
act which is inconceivable. It may he an ellipsis for /A - 
rine j^otest ut, etc. (cf . v. 929). 

894. nuptiavS novas: cf. tltahunus norths, r. 74'-). Tlie 
idea mav be, new in the sense that tiie scene is to be (»ne of 
mourning instead of rejoicing. 

897. You still love him if you are satisfied witli de])riv- 
ing him of his bride, furiose: masculine, agreeing with 

898. eaelebs: unwedded, single, widowed. 15oth ate- 
hbs and vldnvs are used indifferently of widowed persons 
and those who never have married. 

899. haut: hand. 

902. laugueutom: if you waver in your i)nrpose. 
905. pietas vocetur: in comparison with what is con- 
templated now. fax is: feaeris. 

907. prolusit: merely played a j)relude. 
910. Medea mine sum: cf. r. 171 and note. 
912. arcano: the golden fleece. 
918. sonis: Pelias. 

915. non rudeiii: cf. rudes, t\ 90S. Her hand is no 
longer unpracticed in crime. 

916. perfido hosti: Jason, as in r. 920. 

918. nondinn: Yet it is clear that the idea had occurred 
to her at least as far back as her interview with Jason ( rr. 
549, 550), and hints of her growing purpose are given in rr. 
565, 848, 

920. paeliee: Creusa (cf, 462 and note). 

922. Creusa peporit: In seeking means tor attaining 
the climax of her revenge she first wishes that her rivjjl had 
left children behind her, and then exclaims that Jason's 
children (though her own as well) must now be th<»ught of 
as (Yeusa's. 

92:1 ultimuui: crowning. 

926 fl". For this wavering between right and wrong im-